UN: Over 100 sex­ual as­sault cases in Juba

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

Juba — The UN says there have been at least 120 cases of sex­ual vi­o­lence and rape against civil­ians in South Su­dan’s cap­i­tal Juba since fight­ing erupted three weeks ago be­tween troops loyal to the coun­try’s ri­val lead­ers.

Heavy fight­ing in­volv­ing tanks and he­li­copters raged in Juba for sev­eral days be­tween troops loyal to Pres­i­dent Salva Kiir and those back­ing Vice Pres­i­dent Riek Machar ear­lier this month.

At least 272 peo­ple were killed be­fore the lead­ers or­dered a cease­fire.

Farhan Haq, UN spokesper­son, said on Wed­nes­day the UN peace­keep­ing mis­sion in South Su­dan con­tin­ued 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.”

Haq said UN peace­keep­ers had stepped up pa­trols and were also pro­vid­ing “pro­tec­tion at des­ig­nated times to women when they to go out of the Pro­tec­tion of Civil­ians sites to col­lect fire­wood and pro­cure other non-food items.”

The UN is pro­tect­ing tens of thou­sands of peo­ple at sites in Juba and else­where in South Su­dan. Haq said the UN called on all par­ties to im­me­di­ately sanc­tion the sol­diers re­spon­si­ble for “these un­speak­able acts of vi­o­lence.”

An ear­lier re­port, re­leased in March, in­di­cated that chil­dren and the dis­abled in the coun­try had been burned alive and pro-gov­ern­ment mili­tia al­lowed to rape women as a form of pay­ment.

Rights groups have also ac­cused South Su­dan’s mil­i­tary of com­mit­ting war crimes and crimes against hu­man­ity. — Al Jazeera

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