Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Somalia's 'soft targets' speak outMOGADISHU, 25 APRIL 2003 (SPA)--Gunmen in the Somali capital routinely rape and subject displaced women to other forms of abuse, those affected said Friday.

"The level of rape is very high and all age groups of poor women living in internally displaced people's camps are targeted," said Ahmed Yahya Mohamed, an elder in one of the camps told AFP.

"The latest rape took place last weekend and the victim was a nine-year-old girl with the attack rape occurring in the presence of victim's father," Mohamed said.

At another camp situated along Mogadishu's V. Lenin Road, Asha Ahmed said her sister has been raped twice this month.

"It appears we are a soft target because we are not armed," said Asha.

Somalia has been without a functioning government since the collapse of the regime of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.MORE

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