UNAMID organizes awareness campaign on Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict in Greater Jebel Marra, Central Darfur

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As part of the 2019 global United Nations campaign for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, UNAMID’s Human Rights Section (HRS), the office of the Senior Women Protection Adviser (SWPA) and the Gender Advisory Unit (GAU) has organized a series of public awareness campaigns and capacity-building workshops in the Greater Jebel Marra area, central Darfur from July to August 2019.

Following the recent observance of the Global Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict on 19 June, UNAMID opted to continue the campaign through a more sustained approach in the Greater Jebel Marra area, where cases of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) continue to be reported owing to the ongoing sporadic fighting between Government of Sudan (GoS) forces and armed movements operating in the area.

The public-awareness campaigns are aimed at advocacy and awareness-creating on Conflict Related Sexual violence (CRSV)/Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) for about 1,500 community members in the four localities of the Greater Jebel Marra. These include health and social workers, members of local women protection networks, representatives of internally displaced persons (IDPs), the Native Administration, religious leaders, women’s groups, the youth as well as men in the community.

In this regard, a two-day capacity-building workshop, targeting at least 50 persons from each locality, was held in Nertiti Locality, western Jebel Marra from 6 to 8 July. The Workshop was aimed at enhancing skills on survivor-centered approach and awareness raising on CRSV, sexual violence, human rights, GBV guiding principles, grave violations against children and Gender Based Violence (GBV) referral pathway as well as advocacy for the elimination of CRSV/GBV/SGBV and other forms of impunity and human rights violations affecting women, girls, men and boys in the community. More than 650 people, mainly women, attended the Workshop.

Addressing Workshop participants in Nertiti, UNAMID Senior Women Protection Adviser, Ms. Ruth Kibiti urged all to share the message of women protection and the survivor-centered approach with the community members in their villages. “It is important to follow the measures taken in the event of attempted rape, rape or gang-rape including the need to seek medical attention within 72 hours of the incident occurring and to preserve evidence by not having the victim/survivor clean up before seeking medical help” added Ms. Kibiti.

In his remarks, the Chairperson of the Nertiti Locality Security Committee, Major Asim Abdallah, assured all that the local Security Committee fully supports the campaign on the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. “Rest assured of the full support of the Nertiti Security Committee for UNAMID’s campaign in West Jebel Marra area,” Major Abdallah asserted.

UNAMID Gender Advisory Unit (GAU) presentation at the Workshop focused on issues of GBV, SGBV and CRSV in Darfur. GAU detailed the five types of SGBV (sexual, physical, harmful traditional practices, socio-economic and emotional/psychological) as well as prevention, response and how to keep the community informed about sexual violence in conflict. Focusing on CRSV, GAU emphasized the need for the rape survivors and the community to report cases to the Sudan Police Force (SPF) and to ensure that the victim/survivor receives medical assistance as soon as possible.

Similar advocacy campaigns and capacity-building workshops are planned for Zalingei (Central Darfur), Kutum Locality (North Darfur) and Golo Locality in Central Darfur.