A grim portrait of sexual violence in conflict zones in the Horn of Africa – Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia

The Horn of Africa has for decades struggled with chronic occurrences of civil conflict, fragile state structures and tribal and ethnic affiliation is opposed to states’ modern obligations. The situation for women and girls in the Horn of Africa continues to be characterized by systematic victimization, subordination and their unfortunate subjection to violence. The picture of this has been grim for a very long time. It is important to note that there is an absence of justice, impunity for perpetrators and challenges encountered by men and women in the Horn region. Un-interrupted conflict in the area since the 1980s through to the mid-1990s, there has been an apparent break-down of social norms and institutions. Extremely high levels of surveillance by oppressive regimes characterize many Horn countries.

Women and children, who were traditionally immune from violence, are now targeted in a direct and systematic way.