Protect the Women of Darfur
Protect the Women of Darfur
On October 31st, 2014, government soldiers in Northern Darfur terrorized a village just a couple miles away from the United Nation-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) headquarters. The soldiers rounded up the villagers, beat them with their guns, and separated the men and women by force. Then the soldiers stayed until 4:00 AM the following morning, raping approximately 200 women and girls. The UN did not send representatives to inquire about the victims’ well-being until days later. Please sign my petition to demand the UN Security Council to take action and protect the people of Darfur!
Sadly, this is not an isolated incident; it is a systematic pattern of long-standing genocidal attacks against the people of Darfur that has lasted for over a decade. Nine years ago, I was forced to leave Darfur in the middle of the night with nowhere to go, leaving behind my beloved family and friends, simply because I spoke out against the government and my desire to stand up for myself and for my people. One of the first genocidal attacks against the indigenous African people started in the outskirts of Kabkabiya, my hometown in North Darfur. Fifty Darfuri villages were burned to the ground in one week. Forty-nine of my father’s immediate family members were killed in just one day; children were thrown into fires and burned alive.
I did not want to leave Sudan, but many women, including my mother, supported and encouraged me to leave. My mother said to me, “Niemat, you are outspoken. If you stay, we may all be killed, and if you leave, you may be safe and can tell the world about what is happening in Darfur and they may do something to help end it.” With the hope of being the voice for my people, and after several attempts on my life, I left my homeland.
To this day, I have been deprived of seeing my mother, or any of my loved ones since I was forced to leave my home. Even though I am now a US citizen, I am not able to go to Darfur because of the threats against my life. I created the Darfur Women Action Group to recognize the courage and the resilience of the Darfuri women in the face of genocide and to help empower them.
Today, in telling my story, it is no longer about me! As a survivor of the Darfur genocide, I am not only horrified by the mass rape incident and the brutality of the Sudanese government’s army, but I am deeply hurt and dismayed by the silence of the global community and media in the face of this shocking incident. UNAMID is the largest UN peacekeeping force in the world, but it is failing to protect civilians in Darfur and they are not being held accountable.
We must speak up and demand action. If the world leaders are failing in their responsibility to end genocide, it is imperative that we, the global citizenry, speak up and remind them that this is morally unacceptable. Please sign my petition to demand an immediate investigation into the mass rape of 200 women and girls in Darfur. Demand that the UN provide immediate medical and psychological treatment for the victims and hold the government soldiers (the rapists) accountable for their brutal crimes, including compensation for the victims.