July 18, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— The security system of the world’s youngest nation, South Sudan, is at the verge of collapse.
The system that took South Sudanese more than ten years to build, as of today, cannot guarantee safety of civilians and their property even in the capital city, Juba.
Following five days of intense fighting in the capital between the SPLA-Kiir and SPLA-Machar, the national army which split between the top leaders, the army has been unable to arrest rampant looting and raping of school age girls and mothers even in a broad day light.
According to US Ambassador to South Sudan, Amb. Molly Phee, who spoke to eye radio today, “there is not security in Juba now. Looting is still ongoing in Juba”.
Amb. Phee regrets that South Sudan’s leadership is unable to provide basic security for lives and property, especially in Juba today.
Phee spoke after the army and security of president Salva Kiir ransacked major warehouses including the lifesaving warehouses belonging to World Food Program (WFP), and Food and Agriculture Organization in the country.
“The World Food Program’s warehouse is looted, Food and Agriculture Warehouse Organization is looted. There was a lifesaving assistance in both warehouses. All of that assistance was taken away”
In the WFP warehouse, alone, Amb. Phee regrets that there were over 4, 500 metric tones of food that was enough to feed over 250, 000 people for a month.
All that food was stolen by “unknown gunmen” loyal to president Salva Kiir and looting continues.
“It is aaaall gone. That could have safe 250, 000 people for a month. That is just unacceptable” Amb. Phee said.
Phee explains that US had to pull out non-emergency staff from Juba because South Sudan leadership has failed to guarantee safety for their own people. This forced President Obama to send in a unit of US marine to provide protection for Amb. Phee and a few other essential staffs who are still working at the embassy in Juba.
“So any problem we have in helping the people of South Sudan are not problems we created. There are problems because of the failure of leadership” she said.
“What we need for us and for the civilians is safe and secure envirvonment. So that there won’t be fighting in their neighborhood. There won’t be soldiers with guns, the so called unknown gunmen, you know this terible expression you have here in Juba, going into their homes and businesses, raping women and girls, and taking food. That needs to stop”. Amb. Phee states.
Because South Sudan’s leadership has failed to implement the peace agreement and stop fighting, Amb. Phee hopes that the African Union would approve IGAD’s request of foreign intervention in South Sudan to provide security for the people of South Sudan.
“We want to see this young nation not only survives but moving forwards, but for that to happen we need to see people get very serious about returning to table and abandoning military weapons as the way forwards. So we need to see more than just words about the implementation of the peace agreement, we need to see mechanism making the peace agreement comes to live”.
The leadership of South Sudan, especially the president and his loyal tribesmen, has been adamant that the peace agreement was not signed to be implemented, a call that was interpreted as the cause of 5 days dog fight in Juba between Machar’s 1, 300 men and Kiir’s over 20, 000 troops.
Machar pulled out his troops from the capital on July 12 to avoid further escalations and more fighting in the capital accusing Kiir’s troops of using civilians as human shields while trying to assassinate him.
Girls and Women Raped at the Check-point
As of July 18, SPLA-Kiir has continued to rape school age girls and women at the check-point while attempting to go to the market.
More than 20 girls at the age of puberty have shared terrible experiences today at thw UN base protection site in Juba after Kiir’s soldiers raped them at a gunpoint at the major checkpoints.
“Very sad news to see young girls of w/c most of them r under age being raped 2day in checkpoint Jebel Kujur by govt forces plus women after they out of UN camp to get some family needs in Custom. They ar seriously raped. We have received 10 young girls of 14-15 years in POC1 hospital n 12 women being raped this evening. Please pray 4 them. May God help them.” Said one employee of UNMISS on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak on behave of the mission.
The widely spread report confirmed that the army, now known as “unknown gunmen”, is luring civilians , mostly women, using the stolen food items from the WFP.
According to eye witnesses the soldiers have set-up black markets at their barracks to sale the food they have looted from the warehouse; however, women who are non-dinka are reportedly raped, detained or could be killed in the process.