For Somali Women, Pain of Being a Spoil of War

Jeffrey Gettleman – New York Times – Thursday, 29 December 2011 (originally published 27 Dec)

Rape victim hides her face
A rape victim in Mogadishu hid her identity. Aid workers say there has been a free-for-all of armed men preying upon women and girls displaced by famine. Image: Sven Torfinn

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The girl’s voice dropped to a hush as she remembered the bright, sunny afternoon when she stepped out of her hut and saw her best friend buried in the sand, up to her neck.

Her friend had made the mistake of refusing to marry a Shabab commander. Now she was about to get her head bashed in, rock by rock.

“You’re next,” the Shabab warned the girl, a frail 17-year-old who was living with her brother in a squalid refugee camp . . .

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