Amid the prevalent chaos due to the coronavirus pandemic in the country, a horrifying incident has come to light from Mogadishu, the Somali capital where a government soldier allegedly raped a four-year-old girl.
The incident shocked and enraged local residents, it also sent shock waves across the country, triggering a firestorm on social media.
According to the victim’s uncle Ahmed Botan Abdulle, the incident occurred in Mogadishu’s Wadajir neighborhood at around 10:30 a.m local time on Thursday May, 14 when the soldier identified as Mohamed who lived next to the victim’s family sneaked into their house and brutally assaulted the young girl while her mother was a way for a family shopping at a nearby market.
The young girl was seriously injured in the sexual assault and was rushed to a local hospital for treatment. He said.
The suspect has been detained at Wadajir police station for further investigation.
The devastating incident comes a month after two young girls aged four and five were abducted and brutally gang raped in a field near Afgoye town located 30 kilometers west of the capital.
Incidents of rape have been widely reported in different parts of Somalia in recent years. In February, authorities in the Somali region of Puntland executed two men who abducted, gang raped and then brutally killed a 12-year-old girl in the town of Galkayo in 2019.
Somalia is a conservative society where rape is stigmatized and victims are traditionally forced to marry their assailants. Most rape cases go unreported and unpunished, according to Somali women rights activists.
Many rape survivors and their families are afraid to come forward to publicly confront perpetrators, because they fear being shunned by their community. In many cases, the rape victims are deemed unmarriable.
Anti-rape campaigners in Somalia say the brutal nature of several videos of gang rape and murder, which have been shared on social media in the past two years, are turning the tide against the conservative stigmatization and the nature of hiding perpetrators.