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South Sudan Watch Update 77

UN speak out against mass rape

Both the United Nations and the rebel group allied to Dr. Riek Machar have condemned the rape of the 125 women and girls in Bentiu in the north of South Sudan. Last week the aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said that they had received 125 women who had been raped over a 10-day period in Bentiu. The women say that were attacked and raped by men, some of whom were in military uniform while others were not. The spokesperson of SPLA-IO Lam Paul Gabriel said that it is disappointing for such an act to happen while the peace agreement is being implemented. David Shearer the head of the UNMISS called for acts of violence to stop in South Sudan he also urged the armed forces to guarantee control over their troops. UNMISS peace keepers were sent to the area to provide protection. [1]

In a different instance, a group of human rights lawyers are suing the government of South Sudan over alleged sexual violence against women and girls by the government soldiers in central Equatoria region between June and September 2017. The group called the Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) said that they have the testimonials of 30 women and girls aged from 12 to 30 years who shared their accounts of being raped and tortured. The head of Africa Programme at LAW Stella Ndirangu says that they case outlines sexual violence including rape, gang rape, sexual torture and sexual slavery by government security forces.[2]

Human Rights experts on South Sudan probe

A group of Human Rights experts from the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan are to do a 16-day official visit to South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda to probe the human rights violations in The East African Region. Yasmin Sooka, Andrew Clapham and Barney Afako will visit the countries from 4 to 19 December as they gather information of human rights violations as mandated by the Human rights Council. The commission making the visits will make a report to the Human rights council in March 2019.[3]

Deaths as rebels are attacked in Bentiu

The rebel groups allied to Dr. Riek Machar SPLA-IO on Tuesday 4 December accused the government of clashes that happened outside Bentiu in Unity state. The rebels issued a statement in which they said they were attacked at their bases in Guit county by troops under the command of Gen. Dor Manjur Gatluak who is the commander of a militia that is allied to the first vice president Gen. Taben Deng Gai. The SPLA-IO referred to the fighting as fierce and it lasted two hours which also led to the death of fifteen government soldiers and two rebel fighters. [4]

South Sudan challenges AI’s report

The presidency of South Sudan denied a report by amnesty international that said that government had executed seven in year 2018 people that included a child. According to the report, South Sudan was still executing people and there had been an increase in the number of people sentenced to death since the country’s independence. Amnesty said that there are at least 340 people facing a death sentence. However, the presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny denied the report and said that the country does not issues death sentences to anyone more so to children. He added that the culture of South Sudan does not accept it. [5]

 

[1] “UNMISS, SPLM-IO condemn sexual attacks in northern South Sudan,” 3 December 2018 Sudan Tribune available at http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66704

[2] “South Sudan government sued over alleged sexual assault,” 6 December 2018, Radio Tamazuj available at https://radiotamazuj.org/en/news/article/south-sudan-govenrment-sued-over-alleged-sexual-assault

[3] “UN human rights expert group to begin 16-day visit South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda,” 2 December 2018, United Nations Human Rights Office if the High Commissioner, available at https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23965&LangID=E

[4] “GEN. DOR MANJUR RESPONSIBLE FOR TUESDAY’S FIGHTING NEAR BENTIU: SPLA-IO,” 5 December 2018, Nyamilepedia available at https://www.nyamile.com/2018/12/05/gen-dor-manjur-responsible-for-tuesdays-fighting-near-bentiu-spla-io/

[5] “Presidency rejects Amnesty’s report on increasing executions in South Sudan,” 10 December 2018 Sudan Tribune available at http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66740

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