Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Story of Violence

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Story of Violence

One’s mind and senses will go numb to hear the stories of violence reported in national and international media. The rights and dignity of men and women are violated flagrantly as a result of war and violence. They sustain great pain and sufferings on the grounds of their race, sex, color, and creed. Women are particularly left at the mercy of violence and injustice.
I was shocked to read the heartrending stories of Arlette and Fane. In 2002, when Congolese rebels rampaged through PK12 – a community on the outskirts of the Central African Republic’s capital of Bangui – conflict first touched two females Arlette and Fane. Fighting between Muslim Seleka rebels and Christian “Anti-balaka” militias forced both Arlette, a Christian, and Fane, a Muslim, from their homes. Arlette, then 10 years old, shows a wound in her knee that still hasn’t healed. “When it happened, it was dark. I heard gunshots and screaming. Then a bullet struck me in the leg,” she is cited as saying. Finally in 2012, Arlette was flown to Germany to be operated on. She returned to the Central African Republic (CAR) pain-free.
Within CAR, the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC) went on a rampage, raping, killing and pillaging the local population. Liton Village lies at Point Kilometre 22 (PK22) and was the scene unspeakable atrocities including systematic rape. Only six old men were left in the village after several days of destruction by the rebels. Amzine was raped by three men when the rebels came. “The men of PK12 had fled.
We women were left behind, defenseless,” she said. Her daughter Fane, who is seventeen years old by now, is the result of her rape. “When she asks about her father one day, what should I tell her?” asked Amzine. In 2014, Amzine and Fane fled to Chad as Muslims were persecuted by Anti-balaka rebels. “No one will take care of the cat. He’ll be eaten. Our sleeping mats, my red backpack, I had to leave it behind,” said Fane from a refugee camp in Chad in 2015. They have since moved to Congo-Brazzaville, where they now feel at home. It is said that the elementary school in PK12 was seized by Congolese rebels at the end of 2002. Over the course of two weeks, they continuously abused and raped the boys and girls attending the school.
In 2014, Arlette was forced to flee PK12 again. “There were Seleka rebels. We heard they were on the prowl. Late at night, they started to destroy the houses and loot. They kicked down our door,” she said. “We can no longer stay here.” Later, Arlette fell while fleeing from gunshots, making the wound on her knee split open again. Today, she is back in PK12 where the farmer’s market has reopened and she is selling peanuts to help support the family. Arlette hasn’t been able to go to school.
War caused people, mainly women, indescribable sufferings. A victim of Bosnia war says that the prisoners were kept thirsty and hungry for days; whereas the dogs were given bread. According to him, prisoners even drank urine which was the only way to survive thirst. He says that his childhood friend was shot before his eyes for keeping a morsel of bread in his pocket, perhaps to carry to someone in the prison who had not probably eaten for days. Prisoners were forced to labor under hot sun without water. All these stories are a serious blow to the rights and dignity of human beings. Indeed, drinking urine for not being given water is a serious humiliation and it was done to intentionally violate the dignity of those prisoners.
Being born as a result of rape will not be only painful to Fane and her mother but to anyone who cherish humanity. Such acts are a stain on the conscience of the public. It reminds of Thomas Hobbes’s saying that “man is man’s wolf” and men are naturally wicked. To view the ongoing violence and atrocities, one will lose his/her trust in men’s good nature and intention.
The sufferings of mankind have not been mitigated since people suffer painfully in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, etc. Children’s throats are sliced and women’s dignity are violated during the war and peace. Perhaps many children are born out of rape in war-torn countries and their cases remain unreported. Who knows the number of children born in Iraq and Syria as a result of rape carried out by members of the self-styled Islamic State (IS) group? The IS fighters dishonored countless of women, particularly Yazidi women, on the grounds of their race and religion. Regardless of religious tenets, the IS fighters showed no iota of respect to humanity or moral principles.

Similarly there are many civilians, the same as Arlette, who have been affected by war and violence. Meanwhile, scores of men, women, and children are killed and amputated in war and going on in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, etc. To protect the rights and dignity of civilians, warring sides will have to observe humanitarian law or at least ethical code or humanity.

Hujjatullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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