Angelina Jolie Meets Refugee, Victims Of Sexual Violence In Kenya
Actor and United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Special Envoy, Angelina Jolie marked World Refugee Day on Tuesday visiting teenage refugee girls in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Hollywood star visited at least 20 of girls in a safe house in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. They had fled conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi and Rwanda, UNHCR said in a statement.
It said almost all had experienced sexual and gender-based violence and many had given birth after being raped or were pregnant.
Jolie has called for greater effort to document and prosecute crimes of rape and sexual violence in war.
Speaking to peacekeepers Jolie said they may be the first person the traumatized girl encounters after she is abused.
“The reality is that a peacekeeper may be the first person one of these traumatized girls encounters after they’re abused. As peacekeepers you need to be absolutely clear what to do.
“Because that little girl will be frightened, especially of a man with a gun. How you approach her will affect whether she is able to begin to recover or if more damage will be done.” Jolie said
Troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo faced accusations of systematic rape in the central Kasai region this year and the African Union and French peacekeepers have faced investigations over rape and sexual abuse in recent years.
The UNHCR says Kenya is home to nearly 491,000 refugees from neighboring Somalia, South Sudan, DRC, Burundi and other countries in the region.