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UK sexual violence summit ends on hopeful note

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 13, 2014 at 12:18 pm •  Published: June 13, 2014

LONDON (AP) — A conference focusing on rape in conflict zones ended on an upbeat note Friday, with hundreds of participants from Somalia to Kosovo encouraged by an outpouring of international support.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told participants it was time to "banish sexual violence to the dark ages in the history books."

"We will not tolerate rape as a tactic of war and intimidation," he said.

Activists, diplomats and rape survivors left the four-day London summit, co-hosted by actress Angelina Jolie and British Foreign Secretary William Hague, believing they had made progress in better prosecuting offenders and protecting victims — especially those in developing countries and conflict regions.

Organizers said 155 countries signed a declaration of commitment to end sexual violence in conflict and many, including the U.S. and Britain, pledged funds to support the cause.

Deeq Mohamed, a Somali delegate, said he came away encouraged by the global support, although he knew there was no easy answer to the scourge of sex crimes in war zones.

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