U.S. Ambassador alleges that Qaddafi soldiers given Viagra and ordered to rape

By Polly Johnson
Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

TRIPOLI, Libya – In a closed-door United Nations Security Council meeting on Thursday, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice raised the issue of Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi issuing Viagra to troops, a claim that was first reported by British tabloids.

One diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, noted that when Rice raised the issue in the meeting, no one responded.

The reports underscore Qaddafi’s campaign of sexual violence used to silence and terrorize communities that have supported rebels.

One diplomat said that Rice “spoke of reports of soldiers getting Viagra and raping [and] of Qaddafi’s soldiers targeting children, and other atrocities.” Some diplomats questioned Rice’s allegations, saying that she did not offer any proof of the allegations.

An April 24 article in the New York Times spoke of an electrician who fled Libya for Tunisia and who had heard rumors that “loyalist forces had orders to kill everyone in the city, and that soldiers had been given Viagra and explicit orders to rape.”

The British tabloids that broke the Viagra stories also spoke of children as young as eight who have been raped in front of their families.

Michael Mahrt, of Save the Children, said, “Children told us they have witnessed horrendous scenes. They described things happening to other children but they may have actually happened to them and they are just too upset to talk about it – it’s a coping mechanism.”

On the same day of the Security Council meeting, CBS News Correspondent Lara Logan, who suffered a brutal sexual assault in Cairo in February that lasted nearly forty minutes, returned to work and spoke for the first time of her attack, noting that when it comes to sexual violence in areas of armed conflict, victims have only their word.

In countries such as Libya and Egypt, rape is heavily stigmatized, and those who have been assaulted or raped often do not come forward.

Margot Wallstrom, the U.N. special representative on sexual violence during armed conflict, who was appointed last year by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, issued a statement last week highlighting that reports of rape in Libya have been “brutally silenced.”

It would constitute a war crime if it is true that Qaddafi’s troops are being encouraged by their commanders to engage in rape.

Libya is already under investigation by the International Criminal Court for Qaddafi and his regime’s suppression and crackdown of anti-government protesters.

For more information, please see:

New York Magazine – U.S. Ambassador Alleges Qaddafi Issuing Troops Viagra – 29 April 2011

AFP – Viagra allegations raised amid Libya divisions at UN – 28 April 2011

New York Times – CBS Reporter Recounts a ‘Merciless’ Assault – 28 April 2011

Reuters – U.S. says Gaddafi troops raping, issued Viagra: envoys – 28 April 2011

Daily Mail – Fuelled ‘by Viagra’, Gaddafi’s troops use rape as a weapon of war with children as young as EIGHT among the victims – 25 April 2011

New York Times – Berber Rebels in Libya’s West Face Long Odds Against Qaddafi – 24 April 2011

Author: Impunity Watch Archive

One Reply to “U.S. Ambassador alleges that Qaddafi soldiers given Viagra and ordered to rape”

  1. This is the an example of brutality and abuse of viagra drugs. I don’t understand why selfish/cruel people always first target girls and small children for their revenge satisfaction.Day by day i feel that world is not safe anymore. Whether it be my own country or other country. Humanity needs some preaching. We are not protected by Soldiers, but
    We are ruled by monsters.

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