Transparency and Integrity


SGBV: UN Raises Alarm Over Surge In Sexual Violence In South-Sudan


UN Mission Condemns Widespread Sexual Violence,killings.

— Woman Recounts How She Was Repeatedly Raped, Beaten For Three Days. 

Another woman who had recently given birth recounted being raped and severely beaten for three days.

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has strongly condemned the widespread sexual violence and killings, including beheadings, burning alive of civilians, and attacks on aid workers in Leer County.

UNMISS, in a statement on Monday, said these were among the human rights violations documented during a surge in violence carried out by armed youth from Koch and Mayendit counties between February and April 2022.

Between February 17 and April 7, some 72 civilians were killed, at least 11 injured, and 64 cases of sexual violence recorded, according to UNMISS human rights teams, which had conducted 10 verification missions to the area.

Two survivors reported repeatedly being raped and gang-raped after they came out of hiding to find food for their children. Another woman who had recently given birth recounted being raped and severely beaten for three days.

“I am strongly appalled by these horrific attacks on civilians in Leer,’’ Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for South Sudan and head of UNMISS, said.

“We must all do everything we can to ensure that victims and survivors get the justice they deserve and receive the care and support they need,” he added.

Initial reports from Leer County, located in Upper Nile state, indicated that some 40,000 people had fled the violence, with thousands reportedly crossing the Nile to Fangak, a community in Jonglei state.

Thousands of cattle were raided during the attacks, while homes, humanitarian facilities and warehouses were looted and burned to the ground.

Meanwhile, the wet season had already begun, along with risks of floods, making conditions dangerous for thousands of displaced families. UNMISS was also investigating violence in Mayendit and Koch counties, including Mirmir Payam.

The mission had deployed additional peacekeepers to conduct regular patrols, including night patrols in Leer town, to avert further loss of life.

While UN peacekeepers were protecting displaced people and the humanitarians serving them, UNMISS emphasised that civilian protection was first and foremost the government’s responsibility.

The mission had welcomed initial steps taken by the authorities, including forming an investigation committee and the deployment of troops to restore security.

UNMISS engaged with leadership at the capital and state levels to mitigate violence. Civil affairs teams were also meeting with communities to conduct focus group discussions in conflict-affected areas.

In a related development, women in South Sudan had been pleading for peace, the top UN humanitarian official, Sara Nyanti in the country, said on Monday, following a visit to Unity and Upper Nile states from April 22 to 23.


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