Africa Conflict Monitor -Tool of warfare and African social Crisis: The Epidemic of GenderBased Violence -ACM Interview with Catherine Akurut: Africa Wide -Informed Insights Interviews with Experts, 2016.
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The use of rape as an instrument of terror against civilian populations and as a tool of warfare is as old as conflict itself. Gender-based violence in Africa is primarily a social ill addressed through educational programmes, public awareness campaigns and the criminal prosecution of perpetrators. None of these devices can be used in conflict zones during the heat of battle, although rape is a war crime for which there has been prosecution following conflicts. So widespread is gender-based violence in African societies and so deleterious the effects on the many victims that the crime canbe considered a public health issue. Catherine Akurut, an IOA consultant and conflict resolution practitioner based in Uganda, specialising in sexual violence, post-conflict reconstruction and terrorism in Africa, calls gender-based violence in Africa an "epidemic". ACM spoke with Ms Akurut about the many aspects of gender-based violence in conflict zones and normal society.