Somalilandsun – An upsurge of gang rapes has hit the breakaway region of Somaliland — a normally peaceful enclave considered by many to be a sanctuary from Somalia’s decades of violence.
Knife-wielding young men follow women along the dusty streets of Hargeisa, the capital of the region, dragging them inside buildings to rape and rob them. Children are among the victims.
At least 84 women have been raped since the beginning of this year, according to rights activists and medical officials.
“This is in fact a horrible outbreak, raped and bleeding children are being brought into hospitals every day,” said Nimo Hussein Qowdhan, Somaliland’s deputy health minister. “It’s becoming out of control. We must concentrate on fighting it.”
Two young children were recent victims of the gang-rape attacks, said officials.
“It’s a disturbing development, even children are being raped by criminals,” said Fathia Hussein Ahmed, chairwoman of Somaliland’s national human rights commission. “According to a report we have made, children are the most affected.”
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