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Great Lakes states to jointly fight sexual violencePublish Date: Feb 02, 2014
Great Lakes states to jointly fight sexual violence
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Some of the leaders of the Great Lakes region. One of the resolutions recently passed by the statesmen is to jointly fight sexual violence. FILE PHOTO/Eddie Ssejjoba
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By Moses Mulondo

Countries within the Great Lakes region will share measures and efforts to fight the rampant dehumanizing problem of sexual violence.

This was one of the resolutions passed on Friday at Lake Victoria Hotel-Lweza during the International conference on conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence crimes.

Outlining the resolutions, UN’s James J. Arguin, said many countries experience a backlog of cases resulting from inadequate judges available. Uganda is one of the countries whose judiciary is understaffed.

The participants called upon religious leaders to use their religious teachings to carry out a protracted campaign against sexual related crimes.

They observed that whenever there is a political conflict, sexual violence is used as a weapon for genocide.

The participants who came from various nations and development partners urged governments to avail more resources to the efforts for preventing, investigating and prosecuting sexual violence.

Realizing that some cultural norms and practices fuel sexual violence and gender based violence, the participants called for massive civic sensitization as one of the interventions that will bring down the prevalence. 

It was agreed that governments should undertake measures to meet the long term needs of the victims including giving them continuous counseling.

They called for specialized training for judges, prosecutors and lawyers on how to handle sexual violence cases.

While closing the two day conference, Hassan Bubacar, the prosecutor for the Arusha based UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, said they have compiled a report containing best practices on preventing, investigating and prosecuting sexual violence crimes.

“Sexual violence is a global problem. We shall distribute practical tools to governments to help them wage the war against the impunity,” Bubacar stated.

He called for partnerships between governments, regional and international bodies to work together to combat sexual violence.

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