(Quebec) “With the Armed Islamic Group State (EI), sexual violence committed against women has reached heights never seen in the history of warfare.”
While in Quebec as part of the meeting of the international coalition fighting against the terrorist grouping, the head of the file to the UN, Zainab Bangura, will testify the horrors that have been reported to him on a recent trip to the country where EI is rife, to educate leaders plight the first victims of Islamist fighters.
Public procurement where women are exposed naked to a price list drawn up according to their age through a guide on how to deal with sex slaves. The men of the armed group not only EI institutionalized how they rape the women, but, moreover, they boast.
“In all countries where I had to confront the leaders on sexual crimes committed in the territories, there is a culture deeply rooted denial and silence. But like EI publicize atrocities and that’s why it is a formidable enemy, “explains the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on sexual violence in times of conflict during an interview with the Sun and orchestrated by Lawyers Without Borders.
Zainab Bangura participated Wednesday in a panel on his favorite subject, organized jointly by the agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (MAECD). Thursday, she will present the work of his organization to delegates of the international coalition fighting against the armed group Islamic State (EI), meeting at the Chateau Frontenac. “The strategy developed to fight against terrorism does not take into account the protection and the power that is to be given to women,” lamented one that wants to ensure that this omission becomes past history.
The tactics developed by senior UN official to do this is simple: since his return from Iraq and Syria this spring, she tells anyone who will listen disgusting stories she heard during his meetings with Victims of EI. Like that of a young woman who was sold 22 times and sewn back each time to simulate a long-lost virginity. Or this other future mother of two months pregnant was captured and aborted by the means at hand to prevent him from having an “infidel” down.
“They repeatedly raped and harassed because their torturers wish they procreate. They want children reproduced on their model because it is the way they will succeed in building their state, “says Ms Bangura, who is originally from Sierra Leone, where she was a minister before assuming his position New York with the United Nations.
Those who manage to escape give birth to stateless children since many States do recognize that birth through the father. “Tens of thousands of babies are without papers. It’s a huge problem that we are trying to solve by setting in motion the legislative reforms, “explains the expert.
The problem of sexual violence against women in times of conflict is even more difficult to solve than the members of the armed group EI use religion to perpetrate their horrors, also denounces Zainab Bangura. “But it has nothing to do with Islam!” Is she exclaims. One hundred and twenty Muslim intellectuals have even addressed to the leaders of EI to let them know that their actions were not in accordance with the teachings of their faith. “But they do not care,” laments the representative of the UN Secretary General.
“The leaders of the armed group EI understood that the best way to dehumanize society is to attack women and children, she adds. They know that no man will forgive someone who raped his sweetheart or his offspring. This makes reconciliation impossible and what is wanted. ”
For Ms. Bangura, there is only one way to stop sexual violence and is to end the conflict and insecurity in the affected countries. “That is why the peace process is extremely important,” she says. “We have never seen non-state actors with such powers as the IE. We can not use the usual tools of the United Nations as international sanctions. We need to find where their resources come to be able to turn off the taps. ”
The task is daunting, recognizes the diplomat. But she did not give up because she never gets used to what it means. “I do not understand a human being can deal with another in this way. It just makes no sense. ”
“If we do not speak, we lose our humanity”
Over the years, sexual violence against women during conflict has become one of the main workhorses of Lawyers Without Borders Canada (CBSA), a nonprofit organization based in Quebec who work in fifteen countries .
“These are harsh realities to understand. But if we do not speak, we lose our humanity, “says the CEO of CBSA, Mr. Pascal Paradis. He has just returned from Mali where, as in other countries where the organization is present, he has seen all colors.
During armed conflicts, acts of sexuality “indescribable” committed, he said. And often, these are organized and carefully planned. This is the work of CBSA lawyers help victims to prove that the guilty are recognized war crimes and crimes against humanity. “We are not there when it is pulled on, but to establish responsibilities after conflict. And, above all, to prevent it from happening again, “says Ms. Paradis. Assistance is thus provided to help women find, if possible, a normal life after an attack and give them access to justice to regain some dignity. “It is extremely difficult because, often, we will minimize this type of crime and we will suspect them of being responsible. They are re-victimized, “says the lawyer.
These issues were the subject of a round table Wednesday afternoon on the occasion of visit to Quebec of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on sexual violence in conflict, Zainab Bangura. The event, organized in collaboration with the foreign ministry, evidently attracted lawyers, but also researchers from Laval University and members of civil society who are interested in issues related to women’s violence. The foreign minister, Rob Nicholson, was also present among the forty participants.
=> PRICE FIXED BY EI FOR GIRLS AND WOMEN OF THE CHRISTIAN AND Yezidis
Children 1 to 9 years (boys and girls): 200 000 dinars (About US $ 150)
Girls 10-20 years (called women): 150,000 dinars (about US $ 120)
Women 20-30 years: 100 000 dinars (about US $ 80)
Women from 30 to 40 years: 75 000 dinars (about US $ 50)
Women 40 to 50 years: 50 000 dinars (about US $ 40)
Data provided by the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on sexual violence in times of conflict