Interactive Image: Global Experiences Of Rape In War
Campaigners against rape in war are gathering in London in an attempt to bring those responsible for 220 million sex crimes every year to justice. Actress Angelina Jolie is co-hosting the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict with Foreign Secretary William Hague. It promises to be the largest ever gathering of its kind, with more than 140 countries taking part. The aim is to make sexual violence in war zones as unacceptable as chemical weapons and cluster munitions. Every year, 150 million girls and women are raped in conflict around the world, along with 70 million men and boys, and the overwhelming majority of them never get justice.
Angelina Jolie and William Hague are co-hosting the London summit
Mr Hague told Sky News: “This is an unacceptable crime practiced on a vast scale. “What we’re trying to achieve is standards on documentation so that people don’t get away with it.” Under the UK’s presidency, the G8 last year declared rape and serious sexual violence in conflict as grave breaches of the Geneva Convention, as well as war crimes. Some 144 world governments have now endorsed the declaration. The London Summit wants to seize that momentum and turn it into practical action to prevent rape and help victims. One of the speakers will be Poline Akello, who was abducted from her home in Uganda when she was just 14.
Poline Akello was abducted from her home in Uganda and raped
Forced by the army of notorious warlord Joseph Kony to become a child soldier, she survived six years in the bush where she was given to one of Kony’s commanders. “I knew it wasn’t the right time for me,” she said. “My body wasn’t mature enough but they took my virginity.” Poline became pregnant but her baby did not survive and she was not allowed to hold or bury her child. “I wasn’t allowed to mourn,” she said. “If you cried, they would kill you.” Rob Williams, the director of Warchild, a charity set up to help children affected by war, said: “When you see emergencies on television, you see the food, health and shelter crises. “What you are not seeing are the hidden dangers of fleeing from conflict – the armed groups looking for people to rape, or the deeply traumatised civilian groups where the worst aspects of human behaviour come out. “It will not always be men in uniform, it will not always be used as a weapon of war and it will not always be against women.” The summit, which is being held at ExCeL London, will run until Thursday and includes dozens of free events which will be open to the public. Around 200 foreign, defence and development ministers have been invited to attend, along with experts from courts, charities and the military
Foreign Secretary William Hague has revealed the UK offered assistance to help find more than 200 abducted schoolgirls in Nigeria three weeks ago. Militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram kidnapped at least 276 youngsters from a boarding school in the village of Chibok in Borno state, north Nigeria, on April 14. President Goodluck Jonathan has been under fire over his handling of the armed attack and has faced accusations of being slow to respond by families of the kidnapped girls. Mr Hague has told Sky News: “Nearly three weeks ago I offered assistance to the Nigerian government
“I strongly encouraged the Nigerians to improve their capability to deal with these things in the future, Britain can really help with that. “It is a desperate situation for the girls involved, it just shows the nature of this terrorist organisation Boko Haram. “It’s difficult of course because this is primarily a matter for Nigeria and Britain can’t just walk in there… and do as we like. “It’s very frustrating when the world can’t act to deal with these things promptly because the trail goes cold of course after several weeks.”
US President Barack Obama has pledged to do “everything we can” to help rescue the youngsters, after 11 more girls aged 12 to 15 were taken from the northeastern village of Warabe on Tuesday by armed gunmen. He described the situation as “heartbreaking” and said the kidnapping could be “the extent that helps to mobilise the entire international community to finally do something against this horrendous organisation”. “We’re going to do everything we can to provide assistance to them,” he said. “In the short term our goal is obviously to help the international community, and the Nigerian government, as a team to do everything we can to recover these young ladies.” The US is sending military personnel and FBI officials with expertise in hostage negotiations. Officials have raised fears the girls may have already been smuggled into neighbouring countries including Chad and Cameroon. On Wednesday, Nigeria Police announced a 50m Nigerian naira (£182,000) reward for credible information leading to the location and rescue of the female students. Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has appeared in a video threatening to sell the girls “on the market”
#AceWorldNews says that British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that Russia is entitled to have troops and naval forces at its bases in the Crimea during his visit to Ukraine.
He also said that the crisis in Ukraine is “the biggest crisis in Europe in the 21 century.”
Hague said that Russia now had operational control of Ukraine’s Crimea region and that while Russia had the legal right to base troops in the region, the Kremlin should order them to return to their barracks.
He also urged Ukraine and Russia to hold talks.
“Clearly we are very concerned about any possibly of a further move by Russia in other parts of Ukraine but that does not mean the position in the Crimea is stable,” Hague told the BBC in an interview.
Voice of Russia, BBC
#AceWorldNews says that Britain has pulled out of this week’s preparatory meetings for the G8 summit in Sochi in June in protest at Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine crisis, Foreign Secretary William Hague said Sunday.
“The UK will join other G8 countries this week in suspending our cooperation under the G8, which Russia chairs this year, including meetings this week for the preparation of the G8 summit,” Hague told reporters shortly before flying to Kiev.
#ANS2014 – VOR – AFP – Reuters
#AceWorldNews says Following talks in Geneva, the Foreign Secretary said today I welcome the fact that we have now reached E3+3 agreement with Iran on implementing the first step of the Joint Plan of Action agreed at Geneva on 24 November 2013. The entry into force of this agreement on 20 January is an important step towards peacefully resolving the Iranian nuclear issue, on which comprehensive negotiations will now start.