When the first attack started, I was in the field. I had crossed one village, on our way to the next village to have a meeting with Community leader there. When we came back the next day, we found the entire village of Bardy was destroyed completely, and they killed five men and there's a lot of people wounded.
When we started to help those victims, in particular women, rape victims, it was really horrible stories like people talking about—they are subjected, women as young as twelve years old, as seven years old, they subjected to giant rape by seven or six men in the same time. And they have been raped repeatedly. They would be raped in front of their families to destroy the dignity of our people.
I have been forced to leave my country and to leave my people, but I left for two reasons, to be their voice and to continue to advocate for them.
Niemat Ahmadi, Survivor, Sudan
Niemat Ahmadi is from in Kebkabiya, North Darfur, Sudan. Ahmadi has testified that Janjaweed and Sudanese militia attacks began as early as 2001 in the area around Kebkabiya. This was before armed rebels made their initial devastating assault against a government airfield in 2003, generally considered the start of the conflict.
Ahmadi worked with community leaders to help victims of these attacks. She witnessed the results of horrifying abuses against civilians, including women and young girls who had been gang-raped.
Because of her work aiding victims, Ahmadi herself became a target of two assassination attempts. As a result, she fled Sudan.
She eventually made her way to the United States, where she is an activist with the Save Darfur Coalition working on behalf of Darfurian victims. She hopes one day to return and help rebuild Darfur's destroyed communities.