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South Sudanese government should investigate recent rape crimes: HRW

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Displaced civilians from five villages around Kuda Payam, 72 klm west of Juba, after killing of 14 people following attacks by pastoral communities, in their area on 15 August 2018 (UNMISS Photo)
December 18, 2018 (JUBA) - Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged the South Sudanese government to investigate the recent sexual attacks against over 150 women and girls in Northern Liech State during the period of 19 - 29 November.

"Investigations should focus not only on the individual crimes, but also on whether the crimes were coordinated, and they should lead to arrest and prosecution of those responsible," said the rights group in a statement released on Tuesday.

Human Rights Watch said its researchers visited Bentiu between December 7 and 12 and found evidence of a pattern of attacks on women and girls. travelling to and from town for food distributions and other errands.

“Rape has long been condoned, normalized, and used to terrorize women and girls across South Sudan,” said Nyagoah Tut Pur, South Sudan researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“South Sudan’s government and the United Nations peacekeepers should ensure effective patrols in the known danger spots and help facilitate effective investigations and prosecutions of these crimes,” Nyagoah further stressed.

UN peacekeeping chief Jean Pierre Lacroix told the Security Council on Tuesday that UNMISS held a meeting with the South Sudanese 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.

"The Mission has also been 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," la Croix said.

UNMISS also deployed troops in the areas of the attacks to provide a protective presence and dispatched UNMISS’ human rights team to investigate the assaults and to identify the perpetrators.

"Any investigation into these alleged rapes should be fair, impartial, and in accordance with international standards, ensuring the rights, dignity, and security of survivors and that there are no reprisals toward them or health care providers and other humanitarian agencies," Human Rights Watch said.

The investigation should not focus on verifying the reported numbers but on the identity of the attackers and whether the attacks were directed by or undertaken with the knowledge of senior members of any party to the conflict," further said the human rights group.

(ST)

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  • 20 December 2018 08:34, by Midit Mitot

    Shameful, the same community can do such a acts.

    repondre message

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