What do we really know about has been happening in the Central African Republic (CAR) for the past few years? Well, not much, and definitely not enough. What usually comes to mind when you hear the word ‘Sangaris’, or the name of the French stabilisation operation which was launched in December 2013 in CAR, is the rape allegations that were made against French soldiers.
Rape is a commonly used war tactic. Sexual assault has been used throughout history to disgrace and punish the enemy. In CAR, the parties to the sectarian conflict used this method to punish the women and girls “suspected of interacting with people on the other side of the sectarian divide.” The UN Secretary General Report of March 2015 outlined that “2,527 cases of conflict-related sexual violence were documented in the Central African Republic” between the end of 2012 and the publication of the report.
The fact that rape is commonly used in conflicts does not, however, make the practice acceptable as it strongly goes against human rights. The fact that soldiers, who were third parties in a conflict and were deployed to protect the local populations would take part in Continue reading