Hold Perpetrators Accountable

Sexual violence cannot be tolerated, whether in peace time or in war time. It is a worldwide problem that shattered lives of countless numbers of women, young girls and boys. In war time, when the rules of law often break down, partners in arm conflict often use sexual violence as weapons to intimidate vulnerable civilian populations. For years the UN Security Council has been concerned that only limited numbers of perpetrators of sexual violence have been brought to justice. Most of them were allowed to get away with impunity. The recent rape of hundreds of women by the soldiers of the Democratic Republic of the Congo arm force is the case in point. Only one Lieutenant-Colonel who allegedly responsible for commanding the rape was arrested. Many other perpetrators are still left at large. Last week on 16 December, The UN Security Council adopted a far-reaching Resolution aimed to stop sexual violence in arm conflict situation. From now on, States will have to comply with their obligations under international law that prohibit all forms of sexual violence. While civilians and military leaders must have a political will to prevent such violence from happening. Those responsible for the crime must be prosecuted. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that this Resolution 1960/2010 “gives us a sharper teeth in the fight against sexual violence”. It is important to underscore that the victims need our help, which quite often they don’t get for they have been forced to keep their mouth shut by their family members and public officials. Young men and boys who are victims of sexual attack suffer isolation and discrimination by the community. We can help them by not being silence on sexual violence. Most of all, we must see to it that all governments take their responsibilities to end impunity and to prosecute those who commit this horrible crime against humanity. Thanks to the Security Council resolution we now have a useful tool to fight sexual violence in conflict situation.

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