Sexual violence on massive scales in South Sudan

A young South Sudanese girl cooking food in a refugee camp in Uganda A young South Sudanese girl cooking food in a refugee camp in Uganda UNHCR/Will Swanson

12 October 2017
Thousands of civilians have been raped and tortured since the beginning of the civil war in South Sudan, as claimed by Amnesty International.

According to a joint research project between Amnesty International and 10 anonymous South Sudanese human rights defenders, South Sudan is experiencing a widespread wave of sexual violence. Thousands of civilians have been raped and assaulted since the beginning of the civil war in December 2013.  Both the government troops of President Salva Kiir (of Dinka ethnicity) and the opposition forces of Riek Machar (of Nuer ethnicity) are held responsible for sexual violence against civilians of opposite ethnicity. 

Several women interviewed in refugee camps in Uganda revealed how they were gang-raped by soldiers after witnessing the brutal killing of their husbands. Amnesty’s report unveiled that "thousands of South Sudanese have been subjected to sexual violence including rape, gang rape, sexual slavery, sexual mutilation, torture, castration, or forced nudity”. Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said that what is happening in South Sudan is “premeditated sexual violence on massive scales”. According to Ken Scott, a war crime prosecutor, “war crimes involving sexual violence are taking place in South Sudan”. The government replied to the accusations declaring that soldiers responsible for the rapes be punished; but Amnesty asked for more effective measures to tackle the widespread sexual violence.

Rapes, sexual mutilations, and tortures add up to other abuses and indiscriminate killings that have been tearing apart South Sudan since December 2013. It is estimated that tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than 3.5 million have been displaced.

 

To know more, read:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/09/allegations-widespread-rape-south-sudan-conflict-170917192307648.html
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/07/south-sudan-sexual-violence-on-a-massive-scale-leaves-thousands-in-mental-distress-amid-raging-conflict
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=54643

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