Gang-rape used to pursue military and political objectives in South Sudan: UN diplomat
July 11th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohamed, said on Wednesday in a briefing to the United Nations Security Council in New York that rape and gang-rape have been used in South Sudan to pursue military and political objectives.
The UN top diplomat said the government of South Sudan, sustained in power by tribal militias and pro-Taban Deng Gai, the incumbent First Vice President, elements have been responsible for crimes committed in the two areas of Leer and Mayendiit between April 16 and May 24 2018.
The briefing of the UN Security Council today by the top UN diplomat came roughly four days after visiting South Sudan in which she met with survivors of sexual violence in both Juba, the world’s youngest nation’s capital, and Malakal in Upper Nile State.
“The testimonies I heard were horrific: men being systematically killed, the elderly and sick being burned alive, the genitals of young boys being mutilated or cut off, and women and girls being gang-raped – often to death. Rape and gang-rape are being used to pursue military and political objectives, such as clearing areas of perceived enemies, defined along ethnic and political lines,” Mohamed said in the address to the UNSC.
Citing the report released on Tuesday by the United Nations OHCHR on the atrocities committed by pro-government troops and militias, the UN deputy chief said government troops, assisted by pro-Taban Deng’s forces and clan bull-nuer militia, were responsible for the killing and raping of approximately 120 girls and women including breastfeeding mothers.
“According to a report released yesterday by UNMISS and OHCHR on the indiscriminate attacks against civilians in Southern Unity State, at least 120 women and girls, including pregnant and lactating mothers, and girls as young as four-years-old, were raped and gang-raped by the SPLA and associated forces (including pro-Taban Deng forces and clan youth militia) in Koch and Leer county,” she said.
Mohamed said during her meeting with civil society organizations and religious leaders, that she had been informed of the climate of intimidation in which the right advocates work.
“In my meetings with civil society organizations, I was alarmed to hear about the increasing climate of intimidation in which they work, including attacks against those providing services to sexual violence survivors,” she further said.