Sudan's Darfur crisis has exploded on many fronts -- violence, hunger, displacement and looting -- but United Nations peacekeepers say the biggest issue now affecting the region is the systematic rape of women and children.
Thousands of women -- as young as four -- caught in the middle of the struggle between rebel forces and government-backed militias have become victims of rape, they say, with some aid groups claiming it is being used as a weapon of ethnic cleansing.
"That is one of the biggest issues in Darfur -- the rapes, and crimes against women and children," says Michael Fryer, UNAMID's police commissioner, the United Nations peacekeeping force deployed to try to tackle the violence.
Relief workers say they are powerless to stop the attacks and they say if they do speak out they fear the Sudanese government will tell them to leave the country.
Humanitarian group Refugees International in a report last year said rape was "an integral part of the pattern of violence that the government of Sudan is inflicting upon the targeted ethnic groups in Darfur."
How can this be happening? How can human beings do this to each other? If anyone knows of groups that need funds or letter writing that needs to get done, send that info my way and I'll post it. We have do SOMETHING.
Thank heaven I was born in America. This kind of terrorism is unthinkable.