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UNMISS, SPLM-IO condemn sexual attacks in northern South Sudan

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Residents of Bentiu Protection of Civilians site pictured on 15 February 2016 (UNMISS photo)
December 2, 2018 (JUBA) - The SPLM in Opposition (SPLM-IO) and United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Sunday condemned sexual attacks on 125 women and girls in Bentiu-Rubkona area.

The rape was disclosed by Médecins Sans Frontihères (MSF) on Friday 30 November saying it took place between 19 and 29 November 2018. The UNAMISS added the women were intercepted by military and civilians in plain clothes while the victims were walking from their villages along roads near Nhialdu and Guit on their way to Bentiu.

"It is disappointing that this criminal act of rape still exist while the parties are implementing the peace agreement," said SPLM-IO Military Spokesperson Lam Paul Gabriel when reached by Sudan Tribune on Sunday morning.

Lam further said the SPLA-IO will investigate this sexual violence from within its areas of control and bring those responsible to book. However, the UNMISS later said the collective rape happened in a government-controlled area.

MSF said the number of the victims in this unprecedented attack alone bypasses the sexual assaults registered during the past 10 months of this year which was 104 cases.

“These attacks on vulnerable civilians are absolutely abhorrent and must stop,” said the Head of UNMISS, David Shearer.

"The Mission has held urgent meetings with authorities and urged them to take immediate action to protect women and girls in the area and to hold the perpetrators of these terrible crimes to account," Shearer further said.

Following the reported sexual assaults the UNMISS dispatched several patrols to the area to dissuade perpetrators from committing further sexual attacks, also an investigation team arrived in the area to identify the responsible for the crime.

"The Mission is also urging armed forces in the area to guarantee command and control over their troops to ensure rogue elements within their ranks are not involved in these criminal acts,” said David Shearer.

For his part, Lam said this attack "now calls for the urgent establishment of cantonment sites so that these kinds of cases are reduced and the real criminals are identified easily because currently, guns are not only in the hands of soldiers".

The South Sudan peace implementation monitoring body launched an investigation on Saturday. However, the South Sudanese authorities did not react to the report.

(ST)

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  • 3 December 2018 06:38, by Rumbek S. Sudan

    These cases of sexual violence are on the rise and they are not reported as they happened. In the border areas of Western and Eastern Lakes, they do happens everyday. The perpetrators are the armed youth from both states. The gov’t and other partners in the peace process should conduct a massive disarmament process of all the civilians in former ten states. Otherwise, such cases will never stop!

    repondre message

    • 3 December 2018 08:11, by Midit Mitot

      What happening to Bentui sons @Yaajamaaah? raping you owns mothers, sisters

      repondre message

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