The elderly bear brunt of unending wars


Eldery African women flee war

from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ethiopia Bureau
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) ELDERLY people are often at particularly high risk of abuse as conflict surges around the world.

Some of these conflicts are in Africa.

These includes countries such as Burkina Faso, Central African Republic (CAR), Ethiopia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger and South Sudan.

Bridget Sleap, senior seniors’ rights researcher at Human Rights Watch (HRW), said during conflict, older people were at great risk of suffering serious abuses, such as summary execution, rape and abduction.

“There is an urgent need for governments and the United Nations to recognize these risks and the specific support needs of older people and act to protect them,” she said.

HRW urged all parties to armed conflict to end abuses against older persons and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those in need.

Sleap said UN agencies, its peacekeeping missions and humanitarian actors should ensure that all protection measures and assistance activities take into account older people and their specific needs.

“Older persons, who have special protection needs, should no longer be invisible victims of armed conflict,” she said.

Among some violations, in Burkina Faso and Mali, armed Islamist groups, government forces and ethnic militias have killed scores of elderly people.

In South Sudan, a rape victim aged over 55 was quoted as saying that during government operations against rebel forces in February 2019, a soldier forced her to carry looted goods, hit her with his gun and repeatedly raped her.

– CAJ News








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