No justice for rape victims in BosassoPhoto | Xeryaha barakacayaasha Jowle ee Garowe/Keydka sawir/Cabdiraxmaan Xaaji
Displaced women in the IDP camps of Bosasso, the commercial hub of Puntland, say they suffer sexual abuses in silence because they have no faith in the police and justice system that never presents their cases to the courts.
Ahado Ibrahim, a 26-year-old mother with four children, was gang-raped by unidentified armed men last month when she was nine-months pregnant. As a result, Ibrahim has been suffering from stress and anxiety which she believes complicated the delivery of her baby several days ago.
“I was suffering for two days in labour and lost a lot of blood,” Ibrahim told Radio Ergo’s local reporter. She had to undergo surgery to deliver the baby. “No one will be held accountable for what happened to me,” she added.
Displaced women and their leaders in the Buraha camp, east of Bosasso, said that when such cases are reported to the police, the police will usually investigate the case, but nothing else will happen and no perpetrators are brought to book.
“We have reported several rape cases to the police, but no case was brought to the court. We are now forced to help rape victims through medical treatment. There is nothing else we could do,” said Ali Barre Ismail, the chairman of the displaced people in Bosasso.
He said rape leads to such shame and social stigma that it had forced several women who were rape victims to migrate to Yemen by sea crossing, and caused others to move away to another town to find anonymity after their stories become known.
Ubah Khalif Ahmed, a women’s activist in Puntland, said the lack of justice for rape crimes was discouraging the many rape victims. She said women had decided simply to hide their ordeal because of fear that their secret would be publicised, without the prospect of the attackers ever being brought to court.
“The women gave up about getting justice and there is no one to encourage them. Therefore, they prefer to suffer in silence,” Ubah told Radio Ergo.