July 27, 2016 (NEW YORK) – South Sudanese soldiers in the capital, Juba, have been accused by the United Nations (UN) of resorting to raping of women, including underage young girls who have taken refuge at the United Nations Protection of Civilians (PoCs) sites in the outskirt of the capital.
The renewed accusation was made in a briefing to reporters in New York on Wednesday.
"Regarding South Sudan, the UN Mission in the country (UNMISS) continues to receive deeply disturbing reports of sexual violence, including rape and gang rape, by soldiers in uniform and men in plain clothes against civilians, including minors, around UN House and in other areas of Juba,” said Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon.
Since the start of the current violence in Juba, the UN Mission has documented at least 120 cases of sexual violence and rape against civilians.
UN peace keepers have reportedly stepped up their patrols in and around the Protection of Civilians sites, as well as in Juba city in response to the increasing sexual violence against women and underage girls.
It added that in trying to mitigate the problem, measures are in place where UNMISS force provides protection at designated times to women when they want to go out of the Protection of Civilians sites to collect firewoods and procure other non-food items.
“We have called on all parties to the conflict to take personal responsibility for the immediate sanctioning of their soldiers involved in these unspeakable acts of violence," says UN.
South Sudanese soldiers have been repeatedly accused of resorting to raping women whom they were supposed to protect as duty of a national army, with reports alleging that their commanders tell them to rape women as compensation for lack of salary payments.
The soldiers have also been accused of their habit to loot properties of civilians and relief organizations, with the recent incidence in Juba in which a food store for the World Food Program (WFP) was looted by soldiers two weeks ago in the heart of the capital.