Right groups using rape reports to raise money – government

Women line up for food rations at a distribution site in Bentiu, South Sudan, on December 8, 2018. © 2018 Nyagoah Tut Pur/Human Rights Watch

Women line up for food rations at a distribution site in Bentiu, South Sudan, on December 8, 2018. © 2018 Nyagoah Tut Pur/Human Rights Watch

February 15th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan government on Friday denied a report by the UN human rights office that rapes are being committed in South Sudan’s unity state saying  right groups are using rape reports to raise money.

This come hours after the United Nations released a report accusing militia youth groups allied to the First Vice-President Taban Deng Gai of continuing to carry out rape against women in Unity state’s Bentiu.

The United Nations said although most perpetrators were members of youth militia groups loyal to First Vice President Taban Deng Gai, South Sudan’s army is is also involved.

The South Sudan minister of Energy and Dams, Dhieu Mathok Ding  told Reuters from Juba that the report was not realistic and he accused NGOs of using the issue to raise money.

“Nobody can imagine that more than one hundred women are raped in just a one month without information leaked to the parents, to their husbands or to their brothers,” he said.  “When you talk about the sexual violence, you can get money. This is unethical…they are people who are using this as a business which is really very bad.”

The report said South Sudan’s police and military had acknowledged the situation and planned to step up patrols although an inquiry led by the minister for gender, had concluded the allegations were “unfounded and baseless.”

Minister Mathok said the committee would soon release its findings and “If found that it is true, those who did this will face justice and also if found not true, those who went out and released the report without justification will also face justice.”

The United Nations called for an independent investigation and said the government and leaders of armed groups must hold to account any perpetrators within their ranks.

It also called on the government to keep its promise to create a court consisting of South Sudanese and other African judges to try people accused of atrocities.

The U.N. peacekeeping mission had stepped up patrols and cleared foliage from roads to make it more difficult for men to ambush women, and was also working with local authorities to set up a mobile court to hear cases involving serious crimes, including sexual violence, the report said.