Incidence of Rape, Girl Abduction On Increase

WOLKITE, October 12 (WIC) - The incidence of rape and women abductions in Guragie zone has been on the rise in recent times, the women's affairs office of Guragie zone disclosed.

The office said that although the office has made joint efforts with justice administration bodies and other departments to fight the crime, it is still impossible to bring matters under control due to the low level of consciousness of the communities as well as failure to take serious punitive actions against offenders.

Recalling that a series of training programmes and workshops have been held in the zone as part of the drive to eradicate harmful cultural practices including rape and abductions, the office stressed the need to continue this trend until fundamental attitudinal changes are effected.

Lt. Terefe Wordefa of the criminal investigation section of the zonal police department disclosed that only this year a total of 35 rape and girl abduction files were submitted at his office.  Noting that 18 of the rape victims are girls of under 14 years of age, Lt. Terefe urged the society to cooperate with the police in exposing rapists and other offenders.

Meanwhile, some residents of Wolkite town said on condition of anonymity that the cause of the problem is not the low level of consciousness but the failure of administration bodies to take legal action on offenders.

In another news, a study paper indicated that women of Keffa Sheka zone are being exposed to serious problems of life due to the growing rate of rape, girl abductions and other harmful cultural practices.  The study paper, presented at the two-day workshop held in Bonga town under the title, "Women and Development," said the problem worsened because of the tendency to settle the cases through arbitration instead of bringing offenders to justice.