September 4, 2014 (JUBA) – Cases of violence against women residing within the United Nations camps in South Sudan have reduced, local community leaders said on Thursday.
- Thousands of civilians fleeing violence seek shelter at a UN compound in Jonglei state capital, Bor (Photo: UNMISS/Hailemichael Gebrekrstos)
Several measures, in collaboration with UN police, have reportedly been put in place to reduce crimes committed within the protection of civilian sites.
Joseph Biak, who heads of one of the civilian sites, said they have established community police to monitor crime-related activities in the camps.
He said sale of alcohol in the camp has made most young people to engage in fights that have resulted into fights and more rape cases.
“The serious issue at the site is the issue of alcohol habits of which it is not easy to handle it because they only get their own mean, they go out and buy alcohol using their own money,” said Biak.
“We make sure the alcohol does not to enter the camp right from the gate. We check pockets and bags to ensure no one smuggles alcohol in to the camps,” he added.
Nyador Simon, a resident at the UN house in Juba, urged men to refrain from attacking their wives, urging them to work for peace.
“At least at this point, we need to understand each other the only way I think it can be minimised is whenever you have family issues you remember that wherever you are or wherever we are residing now is different place, you only need to think of your peace in the country not to fight each another as the family,” said Nyador.
She further said most cases of violence against women are caused by men under the influence of alcohol and drugs in the camps.
According to Biak, a prison facility has been set up within the UN camps to handle both major and minor cases committed by those residing within the protection site.
“What we use to do is only that we will arrest the guy and will take him to community watch groups and from there we will punish the person according to Nuer custom of which if the case is beyond our power, then we refer the case to the UN police,” he said.