Instead of diseases and other illnesses spreading like a wildfire, the new dangerous epidemic takes a toll on the mind and not the body. This new plague is called “rape.” Instead of a biological plague, this is a social plague that the United Nations has given warning about as it spread across the conflict zones throughout Africa.
According to the United Nations, this epidemic of sexual violence is very high in the regions that have been scarred by times of war and/or natural disasters. There are numerous conflicts taking place across the nation. In short, sexual violence is an epidemic that is widespread throughout the continent.
“When societies collapse there seems to be a license to rape. This is a major concern to us,” explains Hilde Frafjord Johnson, the Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF.
Johnson has cited the chaos and turmoil in Kenya after the disputed elections of being one example. She said that the cases of rape and sexual assault doubled in the days where the violence was at its most chaotic.
“Things happen that are unheard of in other African communities suddenly happen in these situations, and that is why we call it epidemic proportions, because it takes a life of its own,” Johnson added.
Johnson included Sudan, Chad, and DR Congo which are all conflict zones where the cases of rape are very high. UNICEF had given the warning at the same time launching an appeal for aid up to $856 million.
The aid would be used to aid the victims of conflicts across Africa. So far, Sudan tops the list that needs aid.
Just recently, award winning director Steven Spielberg had withdrawn from his position as creative adviser for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He said in a statement that China was not doing enough to stop the death and sexual violence in Sudan’s Darfur region.