Sexual violence cases surge in South Sudan despite reduction in violence: UN

By Deng Machol
Juba, South Sudan – A cases of conflict – related sexual violence cases are emerging despite an overall decrease in the number of civilians affected by violence across the country, says latest UNMISS report.

 

In its’ latest human rights report, notes that cases of conflict-related sexual violence such as rape and gang-rape and other forms of sexual violence linked to conflict increased by 218 percent during this second quarter of the year despite 15 percent decrease in violence.

It discloses that 922 civilian casualties were recorded as result of violence in this period compared to the second quarter in 2021.

“The exponential surge in sexual and gender-based violence is completely unacceptable, impacting most severely on the women and girls. This violence that divides communities and hampers reconciliation needs to end,” said Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Nicholas Haysom.

According to UNMISS, intercommunal conflict accounted for 60 per cent of civilian casualties, while 38 per cent of casualties were caused by government forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army – In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) who are increasingly relying on allied militias to engage in conflict.

It says that violence in southern Unity state contributed to about a third of civilian casualties in the reporting period.

The UNMISS further urges the government to swiftly investigate human rights violations and abuses and to hold perpetrators to account.

“With just a few months remaining in the transition, the Mission calls for the full implementation of the revitalized peace agreement to enable the security sector to carry out the Government’s primary responsibility to protect civilians,” it says.

UNMISS, however discloses that it is currently supporting authorities to ensure accountability and access to justice for survivors and victims, through a range of special and mobile courts such as the adjudication of rape trials through a general court martial process in Yei, Central Equatoria State.

 

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