EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index:AFR 23/03/94
UA 111/94 Rape and torture/legal concern
17 March 1994
Rape: At least 12 girls and women
Detained and reportedly ill-treated: At least 20 civilians, including Ahmed
Meko, "Okal" for Oueima, and his brother, Ali Meko
Torture and death in custody: Hassan Douba Aramis, 55
Amnesty International has received further reports of abuses against members
of the Afar ethnic group committed by government troops in areas of renewed
fighting with the Front pour la restauration de l'unité et de la démocratie
(FRUD, Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy). The FRUD draws its
support mainly from the Afar ethnic group.
At least a dozen girls and women from the Afar ethnic group were reportedly
raped by government soldiers between 3 and 10 March in the regions of Oueima
and Mabla in the north of the country. Names of several of the victims have
been received by Amnesty International but these are not being published for
fear of reprisal. One of the victims was later taken to hospital. Another
victim is said to have been previously raped by government soldiers in January.
In the region of Day on 24 February a civilian, Abdallah Ahmed Abdallah, was
reportedly summarily executed by soldiers when he protested about the rape
of his sister-in-law by soldiers.
Amnesty International is also concerned about reports of the detention and
ill-treatment of civilian members of the Afar ethnic group in the regions of
Oueima and Mabla between 3 and 10 March. At least twenty civilians, including
Ahmed Meko, the "Okal" (community leader) for Oueima, and his brother, Ali
Meko, are currently detained in military barracks 9 kilometres from Tadjourah
in Mabla region. In Oueima region government forces also reportedly arrested
several dozen civilians, including some wounded, most of whom are detained
at a military post at Assageyla.
Amnesty International has previously received reliable reports of widespread
torture of detainees in military and police custody. On 26 February Hassan
Douba Aramis, a 55 year-old civilian arrested earlier, probably for suspected
support of FRUD, died in military detention at Soura, near Randa, allegedly
as a result of torture.
FRUD has been fighting the government since 1991. Major human rights abuses,
including extrajudicial executions, torture and rape, committed against
civilians from the Afar ethnic group by government forces have been previously
reported, particularly in August and September 1993 and January 1994 (see UA
328/93, 16 September 1993 and UA 06/94, 12 January 1994).
Between 3 and 10 March 1994 the Djibouti government reportedly carried out
a new military offensive against the FRUD in the regions of Mabla and Oueima
in the north of the country. It would seem that these recent abuses, including
extrajudicial executions, have been further reprisal actions against civilians