Tragedy Of The Present
(part of The Darkness Visible series)
The quickest way to destroy an enemy that you perceive due to race is ironically not through the bullet. Bullets are costly when you are talking about killing not only the living but those still yet to be born. Soldiers have to be rewarded for their efforts in annihilating another race of man. Eventually hatred alone is not the only sin needed to continue the descent into hell. Bullets are the embodiment of hate on genocidal battlefields. But they can't sustain a prolonged effort to exterminate. That is where other sins come in. Sins such as lust.
When the Serbian militias began their war to purge old Yugoslavia of Bosnian blood their commanders knew the battle would be long. Almost from the beginning the leaders of death squads knew that payment and patriotism alone would not keep their savage troops on the battlefield. Leaders like Mladic and his fellow dogs told their soldiers that the rape of a Bosnian was their duty to the Serbian people. Through "breeding" the Bosnian out, the Serbs could end an entire ethnicity. And through that approach they could save their bullets for the religion of the Bosnian people while their soldiers could get cheap entertainment at the cost of the Bosnian women and girls.
Today the lessons of Bosnia are being repeated as history itself tries to teach us what we apparently didn't learn the first time. In places such as the Congo and Burma rape is once again being used to motivate murderers and keep them on the battlefield. The human cost unfortunately is harder to measure than simply putting another tally mark on the wall or adding another body to the count. The initial victim passes on her misery and pain to future generations. Her family and friends experience the crime in ways they themselves could have never imagined. And the war criminal usually gets to walk away without even facing a judge or jury.
Recently Assed Baig released an article about the Myanmar military's use of sex trafficking as a weapon of war. In it he describes how the Burmese government is complacent in allowing it's soldiers to keep Rohingya women as sex slaves. In particular, Assed Baig focused on Regiment 270's encampment just outside Sittwe where Rohingya girls are taken and held as sexual slaves.
(Link listed in Source Documents)
The story of the Rohingya's exploitation is remarkably similar to that of the Bosnian people during the Serbian prosecuted genocide against the Bosnians. Once again we can see that the militants use the Rohingya as a source of military moral. Prisoners that happen to be male are beaten and at times killed by Burmese military who become bored with the lulls between "riots" (pogroms). Rohingya women however are subject to a living hell.
Rohingya women are claimed by a Burmese soldier or the entire camp. Their families, especially their children, are used as leverage to keep them silent during their imprisonment. During their imprisonment the Rohingya women are subjected to abuse and rape whenever the Burmese soldiers wish. It is only upon release that the Rohingya women are given an illusion of liberty. Their families are still kept as leverage (threatened to kill or have killed) to keep them quite after they have left the custody of the camp.
This is how rape is used in war. It is a weapon meant to degrade the lives of the targeted community. When it kills its victims it adds another number to the body count in the eyes of the outside world. But for the victims, death is a release from the hell their captors have made for them. For most this form of victimization is one that they will have to live with. It is a nightmare that will forever haunt them. It is a weapon worse than bullets alone... for it not only damages the flesh but manages to wound the soul as well.
(note that not all sources are listed)
Assed's Article via Vice