June 18, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan government has committed itself to the global campaign to end sexual violence in conflicts, its foreign affairs minister disclosed Tuesday.
- South Sudan Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London on 11 Feb 2014 (Photo: IISS)
Benjamin Marial, who represented South Sudan at last week’s global summit in United Kingdom said the young nation’s government would carry out reforms in critical sectors of judiciary, police and advocates so as to address existing challenges.
“In the midst of all the technical and institutional challenges, the government of the Republic of South Sudan also appreciates the critical need to put the victims and survivors’ rights and to ensure their security and safety,” said Marial.
The summit was organised and co-hosted by the British foreign secretary, William Hague and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special envoy Angelina Jolie. More than 8,000 participants from over 100 countries reportedly attended the five-day conference.
The summit aimed at finding ways of committing governments to address and end impunity for perpetrators and strengthening accountability against sexual violence against women and girls. It also intended to encourage governments in conflict nations to draw inspiration from those that have been successful in producing action plans whilst facing conflict.
South Sudan descended into civil war in December after government accused former vice president of attempting to a coup against President Salva Kiir. At least 10,000 people have been killed and over a million displaced, according to United Nations. Both sides to the conflict have been accused of committing war crimes and human right abuses.
Minister Marial said the government was determined to bring bring to book those who commit sexual violence.
“In denouncing the perpetrators of human rights violations including war crimes, crimes against humanity, sexual violence, recruitment of child soldiers and calling for accountability, the Republic of South Sudan emphasized and urged the international community of the essential need for international collective action to providing support,” said Marial.
He outlined capacity building and deployment of expertise as key areas that needed improvement to combat sexual violence.