By Jonathan Abass Kamara
Past Health and Sanitation Minister in the Sierra Leone government and now Special Representative of Sexual Violence in Conflict, Dr. Zainab Hawa Bangura for what I know about her interest in the girl child and womanhood in general must have had rainy tears of sorrow over the ISIS abduction of pretty young girls, and for deflowering them irrationally.
Imagine the young virgins stripped naked and handed over to slave bazaars and sold as sex slaves to some of Syria’s markets. The buyers take three or four girls each and keep them for a couple of months before they get loved, and sold again. Adding my voice to Zainab Bangura’s voice: “women and girls are at risk and under assault at every point of their lives”, and the mass rape cases carried out by ISIS Jihadists, I wonder why those of us in the other part of the world Europe, the West, Asia, Africa should not raise our voice and halt this irrational inhuman behavior. Civil society groups and governments worldwide must give Zainab and Human Rights Watch the desired support. The trumpet of global solidarity against ISIS scandalous act on our girls and women must be blown for positive action.
Testimony of Atrocities
Giving the accounts of various situations, Zainab Bangura lamented the testimonies delivered by one girl who was traded 22 times, and of a leader who had written his name on the girl’s hand to show that she was his property. Another account states that ISIS militants had burned a young girl after refusing to carry out what she described as extreme sexual acts, whilst some young women had their heads carved, and taken away after some of them used to commit suicide. There have also been reports of mass rapes carried out by ISIS Jihadists, a Yazidi woman among a group of 14 consumed diluted rat poison in a collective attempt at suicide but rescued by the perpetrators, and later treated at hospital and beaten for disobedience.
The story of the Yazidi woman who was also beaten to death reminds me about the tragic death of the young pretty Jebbeh in Pujehun during the rebel war in October 1991 when the rebel dug a hole buried her alive because of trying to maintain her pride against their forceful irrational sexual harassment.
The horrible tragic death of Jebbeh came after the brutal killing of two of Paramount Chief Victor Kebbie’s brothers at Samahlen, Pujehun district. Following the RUF atrocities, Sierra Leoneans, ECOWAS and later the UN stood firm against the senseless war, and brutal killings of the young, the old, children, babies and even babies yet unborn. This is my cry for global action against ISIS.
The accounts given by Sierra Leonean born Zainab Bangura, a native of Yonibana, Tonkolili district, northern Sierra Leone, an African and UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict are evidences that call for urgent global action. The systematic war on women in Iraq and Syria must have world attention. Dr. Zainab Bangura has said everyone has a role to play in attending to the share scope to damage, and calls for a global flexing of humanitarian muscle to restore hope to these shattered young women. “We need a humanitarian surge. It can’t be just Canada, it can’t be just Europe but all and sundry”, opined Zainab Bangura.
The passionate voices of my young sisters in Mateboi are also calling for the restoration and dignity of these unfortunate women and girls.