Somalia: women raped with impunity

The three Somali women sat huddled together in a corner of an empty, dusty room in a camp for displaced people in northern Somalia, their faces etched with grief and resignation.

They were all rape victims. Two of them had been gang-raped, by up to six men.

Roberta Russo from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees works with young Somali women who are victims of rape. She told me the perpetrators are all too frequently young men in the towns surrounding the camp.

The only way some of these young women can earn a few cents a day is collecting rubbish.

“The internally displaced girls often have to go far away to isolated places where men attack them,” Ms Russo tells me.

A prominent campaigner against sex attacks talked to me passionately and with commitment about the difficulties of bringing prosecutions against the perpetrators.

There are not enough police and frankly, she said, the police sometimes colluded in the attacks or carried them out themselves.

Meanwhile the UN worried about Islamophobia

Burma: persecution on Karen people, another unmentioned subject on international press

MAE SOT, THAILAND - October 30 : Naw Baw, an e...
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The Karen people of Burma have been fighting for independence for over 60 years. Far from gaining freedom, though, the Karen people have instead become the victims of massive genocide.

Many of the Karen people are Christians, and it has become apparent that the ethnic cleansing taking place at the hands of the Burmese government is a direct attack against Christians. Patrick Klein of Vision Beyond Borders says once the military has finished off the Christians, they will likely move on to Buddhists.

“We could see, in the next couple of months or a year, a huge genocide of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people slaughtered, because the government wants to present this image that everybody in Burma is supportive of the military government; that is not true,” says Klein. “The only ones that support it are the military.”

Klein says reports show that over 500,000 have already been killed either as a direct result of military violence or from lack of medical care afterward. 150,000 Burmese refugees wait anxiously in Thailand while another million are stuck at the border of Myanmar and Thailand.

…”UN employees reported that over 3,300 villages have been burned to the ground,” says Klein. “It’s surpassing what happened in Rwanda and Darfur, and yet nobody seems to notice.”

via Mission Network News.

I think these attacks are aimed at anyone who is not supporting the Military Junta. But whatever the cause (and it could very well be Christianity), it’s alarming this doesn’t get the UN to condemn Burma. It has proved absolutely unable to do anything sound there, but at least it would underline the problem there, wouldn’t it?

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Somalia: pirates get $2.7 million ransom for German ship

Somali pirates holding a German ship with five Germans, three Russians, two Ukrainians and 14 Filipinos on board have received a $2.7 million ransom and are counting it before releasing the ship, a pirate told Reuters.

“We have taken $2.7 million ransom for Hansa, a German ship,” pirate Abdi told Reuters by phone from Haradhere, a piracy haven.

“We are now dividing the money. We shall get down (off the ship) soon.”

The German-flagged container vessel Hansa Stavanger was captured about 400 miles off the southern Somali port of Kismayu on April 4.

via Somali pirates get $2.7 million ransom for German ship – Yahoo! News.

Meanwhile UN has already warned of a flood in refugees waiting to cross the Gulf of Aden.

The U.N. refugee agency says the people who have fled to Bossaso are part of the more than 230,000 Somalis who have been forced to leave their homes since May 7, when fighting between al-Shabab and Hisbul Islam militia groups and government forces erupted in Mogadishu.

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