Tuesday, August 9, will mark one month since South Sudan’s official independence and international recognition as Africa’s 54th state. As the new nation begins to form its policies on development issues, its leadership and citizenry must successfully overcome several obstacles. If the fledgling nation is to surmount its history of protracted violence and denial of civilians’ most basic rights, the development of South Sudan must be a constructive and inclusive process.
According to the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT), 18 Kachin women and girls have been raped by Burmese army soldiers since the beginning of June. The Burmese government should take action to prevent soldiers from committing rape and should prosecute and punish those who carry out or condone these crimes.
Dr. Alumeti and Panzi Hospital: Symbols of Health and Hope for Survivors of Sexual Violence in Congo
Dr. Alumeti of Panzi Hospital, Congo, recounted to PHR staff his experience working with survivors of sexual violence at Panzi, his words holding promise for the thousands of women who survive rape at the hands of armed combatants in the dense forests and remote villages of eastern DRC.
Advocates cheered in 1996 when a landmark case, In re Kasinga, recognized that female genital mutilation (FGM) could be a basis for asylum. Ms. Kasinga was granted protection based on her membership in the social group of young women in her tribe who oppose FGM and have not yet been subjected to it.
Dr. Emily Rogena teaches forensic pathology at the University of Nairobi School of Medicine. Her soft voice and sweet smile belie a hard-nosed scientist who has worked for years to develop better systems to deal with sexual abuse, torture, and violence.