TV5 Monde 31 Mars 2016
March 2016. Hawa, Djibouti, made the hunger strike in the local of the association ‘Women solidarity’ in Arcueil (Val-de-Marne). The fight against impunity for rape by Djiboutian soldiers.
© Séverine Maublanc
In France, ten women from Djibouti began Friday, March 25, 2016 a hunger strike. They denounce the impunity of rape by soldiers of the Djibouti army and want to sensitize the French state.
March 31, 2016
Updated 03/31/2016 at 10:50
AccueilTerriennesLe rape a weapon of war
Mariam (the real name) has hidden her face under her veil. She will not be recognized. Raped by soldiers of the Djibouti army, this young Afar (people who live in the north), fears that the army is attacking his family remained in Djibouti. “If they recognize me, they could ask my parents, my sisters, lock them, maybe more.”
From this Friday (March 25 2016), ten women from Djibouti decided to start a hunger strike to denounce the rapes that soldiers of the government army have committed, on the same-they or their women family.
“I kept my goat herd in my village. the rapid action force soldiers, FAR, arrived in several. Four held me and two raped me. My family has filed a complaint. I could not. For two months, I stayed in bed, sick. But nothing resulted, “says Fafi, Afar, his native language.
Supported by the association ‘Women solidarity’, they are hosted in Arcueil (Val-de-Marne), a local association. Installed on cots, they stopped feeding and waving, on sheets of paper, the hashtag ‘#stopvioldjibouti’.
France closes her eyes
They want to raise awareness of the impunity of rape in the country and address the Member States present in Djibouti, of which France is part, with one of its largest military bases.
Aisha Dabale, member of the national leadership of ‘solidarity Women’ and spokesman for the ‘Women’s Committee Djibouti against rape and impunity’, accuses France, “the country of human rights, close your eyes the actions of Djiboutian soldiers. ”
The Djiboutian also demand the opening of an international investigation and seeking recognition of rape as a war crime.
“These rapes occur in areas ” resistance ”,” says Aisha Dabale. In North and West of the country, “these women are raped because of their so-called ” sympathy for opponents. ” For example, rape can occur when they come to the police ask about their detained parent. But they are also raped while fetching water in villages. This ” sympathy ” is a false pretense, “says the spokesman.
These rapes are common. And complaints go in the trash
These women have chosen France to denounce the rapes the Djibouti are victims because they can not do in their countries, where the Djibouti to support its own soldiers. Other Djibouti, in Namur (Wallonia) and Antwerp (Flanders) in Belgium, started the same protest.
“These rapes are common. And complaints go in the trash, “says Aisha Dabale. To date, the ‘Women’s Committee Djibouti against rape and impunity has received 246 testimonies of rape, for only twenty complaints registered by the Djibouti government.
The spokesman of the committee also said that doctors do not recognize rape “at most, they accept to report assaults, not to risk having their offices closed by the government.” According to him, the French military doctors who agreed to see cases of rape “had to reconsider their statements at the request of France, after pressure from the Djibouti government.”
Raped women have no recourse, no legal or medical. And their families do not have the financial means to care for them. Some, desperate, going to let die.
Fatou, twenty years, joined the hunger strike on behalf of his cousin 16 years, which, after being raped by soldiers, has left languish, depressed, isolated and untreated .
The young Fatouma poorly with hearing, raped too, shows with gestures what it claims: that soldiers are imprisoned. His father filed a complaint discontinued. He then pushed her daughter to make the trip to France to witness the rapes covered by the Djibouti government in power.
These women are able to leave their country with support from the ‘Committee of Djiboutian Women against rape and impunity’, whose members operate clandestinely in Djibouti. First hiding in neighboring countries, sometimes for up to two to three years, they are waiting for visas. For Aisha Dabale, it is very important to “bring the Djiboutian who violate made for their testimonies are finally heeded.” But she added that getting asylum in France is very complicated, “because of the interests that the country has in Djibouti.” These women are past, mostly by Belgium.
Their trip is funded by the Djiboutian who live in Europe. They send women members of the Committee present at Djibouti, the money related parties, conferences and meal support they organize on the Old Continent.
The opening of an international investigation is difficult, “the investigation can be opened only after all legal remedies made in the country. The complaints are closed without follow, the steps are impossible, “says Sabine Salmon, President of ‘Women in solidarity’. Two international lawyers are expected by the association to provide assistance to the movement.
A few days before the presidential election in Djibouti, due to be held April 8, 2016, the women hope their action will be noticed.
Extreme left elected answered present. Tuesday, March 29, 2016, Senator of the Val-de-Marne Laurence Cohen (Communist Party) and MEP Marie-Christine Vergiat (Left Front) came to support the Djibouti in hunger strike. The next day it was the turn of the Communist MP for Seine-Saint-Denis, Marie-George Buffet, the mayors of Gentilly and Arcueil (counties and cities in the Paris suburbs) to provide assistance to the movement. Marie-George Buffet and Patricia Tordjman pledged to raise about Laurence Rossignol, Minister for Family, Children and women’s rights.
‘Solidarity Women has challenged the French government which, to date, it is awaiting a response.