The aftermath of the March 16 clash between ruling All People’s Congress (APC) and Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) was the rape and physical assault of some women. Consequently a women solidarity group has called on the government and the ESRSG of UNIPSIL demanding immediate action for the rape victims and the perpetrators.
Marcella Macauley of the Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) said they are despondent about the situation that happened which climaxed the rape of the women on Monday adding that they want to send a strong message to see that violence against women is stopped. Ms. Macauley said that women have suffered a lot during the 11 years war and so they don’t want to see that happen again.
In a press release it was stated that the women are horrified and shocked by the alleged rape, sexual violence and physical assault against a number of women.
An injury to one woman is an injury to all women “we are appalled by the fact that after the women of this nation have endured over a decade of violence and trauma during the war, women’s bodies continue to be targeted,” adding that the violence this week follows numerous national commitments made by the government to end violence against women.
“we reorganize that the government has put in place laws and policies to prevent these abuses. Now is the time to prove that they will be enforced.”
The women solidarity support group demands a proper investigation of the alleged crime to ensure that the criminals responsible for these heinous acts are brought to justice, emphasizing that the Inspector General of Police must ensure that this happens, and also that a statement be made by the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, and the leaders of all political parties condemning the blatant use of violence against women on 16th March within the context of political conflict.
They commend the President for championing the cause of Sierra Leonean women and they hoped that he too will forcefully condemn these abuses against women.
“There is no peace if women are not safe. There is no development when women continue to live in fear. We call on the women and men of Sierra Leone to join together to end the culture of impunity” they stressed.