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South Sudan: Over 150 Women, Girls Report Gang Rape

According to United Nations Report, over 150 women and girls have been raped or subjected to sexual harassment in South Sudan in the past 12 days.

In a Joint statement issued by Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, and Natalia Kanem, United Nations Population Fund Executive Director, the attacks were carried out by armed men in uniform.

The Agencies called on the authorities to denounce the attacks on women and girls.

“We call on the relevant authorities to publicly denounce the attacks and ensure that those responsible for these crimes face justice. All parties to the conflict must uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law and cease attacks on civilians.” reads the statement.

This is the latest wave of rape by allegedly armed men in uniforms just as the country is making the 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence.

“Coming during the international campaign of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the attacks remind us that a broad pattern of gender-based violence, including sexual violence, has continued in South Sudan,” the joint statement reads.

According to the UN statement, over 2,300 cases of gender-based violence were reported to service providers in the first half of 2018 with the vast majority perpetrated against women and girls.

“More than 20 per cent of survivors who have come forward are children. The actual number of cases is far higher, as gender-based violence continues to be severely under-reported.”

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The statement further indicates that humanitarian workers were providing critical, life-saving assistance and services to the survivors of the attacks.

“We call on the authorities to ensure the protection and safety of both civilians and aid workers, to ensure that such horrendous violations are prevented and that assistance reaches those in need.”

It is not the first time women have been allegedly raped by armed men in uniform.

Last week the medical Charity-Doctors without Borders said that 125 women and girls had been sexually assaulted while walking to a food distribution site in Bentiu.

The Charity group said the attackers robbed the women and girls of clothing, shoes, money and even their ration cards for food aid.

In September, the military court sentenced 10 government soldiers for raping aid workers in Juba during the July 2016 crisis.

The statement however did not mention any group linked to the attacked.

 

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