Sexual violence in conflict is a tactic of terrorism and war: UN chief

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A woman from the Kassab camp for Internal Displaced Persons (IDP), in Kutum, North Darfur, shows her sorrow for the increase of rapes in the area. Photo: UNAMID/Albert González Farran

Rape and sexual violence in conflict are clear "tactics of terrorism and war" used to destroy lives and even fuel ethnic cleansing.

That's according to UN chief António Guterres, in his official message marking the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence and Conflict, which falls each 19 June.

More details from Ana Carmo.

The Secretary-General said that it was important to pay tribute to the women, girls, men and boys, who suffer "the atrocity" of sexual violence in conflict.

The UN needs to reaffirm what he called its "global commitment to eliminate this scourge."

Mr Guterres said that rape and sexual violence were clearly used by combatants as a way to "strategically humiliate, degrade and destroy, and often to pursue a campaign of ethnic cleansing."

He said the UN was making every effort to address the root causes by using preventive diplomacy, fostering peacebuilding and development, and ending gender discrimination.

All perpetrators needed to be held accountable, and the UN was committed to providing care for survivors, he added.

The UN's thousands of peacekeeping personnel will continue to protect the vulnerable and pursue justice said Mr Guterres, and "each and every one of us has a responsibility to help put a stop to these crimes."

Ana Carmo, United Nations.

Duration: 56″

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