Sudanese soldiers reportedly raped more than 200 women and girls in a North Darfur village during an eight-hour attack last week, according to AllAfrica.com.
According to the website, on Friday morning a Sudanese military commander, stationed close to the village Tabit, said that one of his soldiers went missing Thursday evening. The commander then reportedly warned villagers that he would return by sunset if the soldier was not found and returned.
"We were caught by surprise when soldiers surrounded Tabit at 8 p.m.," the village elder told the news site. "They beat the people with rifle butts and chased all of the men outside the village. Then they started to rape about 200 women and girls, which lasted from Friday evening until 4 a.m. on Saturday."
The elder also claimed that the soldiers refused to allow residents of the village to transfer to nearby towns for medical treatment.
According to AllAfrica.com, "80 of the victims were schoolgirls, 105 were unmarried girls. The other victims were married women."
On Monday a sheik in Tabit told Radio Dabanga that the commander apologized to the villagers for his soldiers' "mistake."
"The commander acknowledged that his forces 'committed a mistake' against Tabit," the sheik told Radio Dabanga. "He explained that the soldier who went missing was found in Tawila locality."
According to the sheik, the commander asked that the names of the rape victims and those wounded be recorded so that those injured could be transported to a nearby military hospital. "We refused his apology," the sheik said, "and demand the formation of an independent investigation into the crime, and to bring the perpetrators to justice."
The sheik noted that many of those victimized have fled the area and that no Sudanese authorities have visited the locale.