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Hundreds rally in Somalia to demand justice for rape victims

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

GAROWE, Puntland - Hundreds of people have taken to the streets in Somalia's northeastern Puntland state n to join protests against continuing sexual assaults of women and girls, Garowe Online reports.

The silent protesters from different walks of life carrying banners with slogans such as "end violence against women" marched on the streets of Garowe city on Tuesday with the theme "Justice Uprising".

They were demanding justice for the rape victims, including that of a 12-year-old girl, Aisha Ilyas Aden who was gang-raped and brutally murdered in Puntland-administered northern Galkayo last February.

Puntland government has said the security forces arrested several suspects in connection with the killing and rape of girl, but, so far no one has not yet been arraigned in court to face justice.

Aden's mutilated body was found near her house barely 24 hours after she went missing. An autopsy revealed she had been gang-raped and her genitals mutilated before she was strangled to death.

Puntland President, Said Abdullahi Deni has vows 'heavy' punishment after the rape and gruesome murder of the young girl, assuring the public that his government will "leave no stone unturned" in ending such incidents. 

Although five men have been sentenced to 20 years in jail for raping another 12-year-old in February in the same town, the public outrage towards the inept handling of previous rape cases refuses to subside.

The gender-based violence, including rape and other abuses against women and young girls, is increasing in Somalia, mainly in central regions lately amid calls for stiff action against the rapists and find them to face justice.