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Rape on the increase in Somalian refugee camps

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Summary from IRIN news, December 22, 2011

The number of reported rapes in refugee camps in Somalia has risen sharply creating a “climate of fear”.

A total of 32 rape victims were taken to hospital in the capital Mogadishu over a two-day period this month, compared with 80 recorded rapes in the previous four months.

Many women are too scared to report rapes for fear of reprisal so the actual number is likely to be higher.

Mama Hawo Haji, a women’s rights activist, said the rapists are often the men who should be defending the women.

“In many cases, the perpetrators are government security forces who are supposed to protect the women; this has led to a climate of fear in the camps,” she said.

An eyewitness, who wants to remain anonymous, tells how a man jumped a fence to rape a woman and landed on her baby, and in doing so killed the baby.

Proposals have been put to the government to help protect the refugees but so far there has been no action taken.

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