Angelina Jolie urges world to end rape in war
Updated: 2013-06-25 09:30
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) special envoy, actress Angelina Jolie (C) greets the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Bangura (R) before a United Nations Security Council meeting on women, peace, security, and sexual violence in conflict at United Nations Headquarters in New York June 24, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
Jolie, who has traveled extensively in her role as goodwill ambassador, recalled several of the survivors she had met - the mother of a five-year-old girl raped outside a police station in Goma in eastern Congo, and a Syrian woman she spoke to in Jordan last week who asked to hide her name and face "because she knew that if she spoke out about the crimes against her she would be attacked again, and possibly killed."
"Let us be clear what we are speaking of: Young girls raped and impregnated before their bodies are able to carry a child, causing fistula," Jolie said, referring to an injury caused by violent rapes that tear apart the flesh separating the bladder and rectum from the vagina, leaving the girls unable to control their bowels or bladder.
She continued: "Boys held at gunpoint and forced to sexually assault their mothers and sisters. Women raped with bottles, wood branches and knives to cause as much damage as possible. Toddlers and even babies dragged from their homes, and violated."
Zainab Hawa Bangura, the UN special envoy on sexual violence in conflict, told the council that two weeks ago she visited Bosnia where an estimated 50,000 women were victims of rape and other forms of sexual violence during the war, but only a handful of perpetrators have been prosecuted.
Later, at the Ford Foundation, she said that on an African trip with Hague, she visited the village of Mambasa in eastern Congo's Ituri district where 11 babies aged 6 to 12 months had been raped, 59 children aged 1 to 3 years old had been raped and 182 girls aged 5 to 15 years old had been raped.
"Who will rape a baby?," Bangura asked. "It means you want to wipe the community away. That's the only explanation you can have."
Jolie pleaded with the Security Council - and all countries - to implement the resolution and not let the issue drop.
"Meet your commitments, debate this issue in your parliaments, mobilize people in your countries, and build it into all your foreign policy efforts," she urged. "Together, you can turn the tide of global opinion, shatter impunity and finally put an end to this abhorrence."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute to Jolie for being the voice of millions forced to flee their homes "and now for the many survivors of wartime rape whose bodies have been used as battlegrounds."
He called on all leaders to apprehend and prosecute perpetrators "and be part of a global coalition of champions determined to break this evil."