South Sudan: More than 150 women abused in spate of sexual violence

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More than 150 women in South Sudan have been treated in South Sudan for rape and sexual abuse over the past 12 days, according to the United Nations.

In a joint statement released on Monday, the UN’s humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock and head of UNICEF Henrietta Fore condemned the “abhorrent attacks” which took place near the northern town of Bentiu. They also revealed “the assailants have been described as armed men, many in uniform.”

More than 150 women violated near Bentiu

“The attacks were reportedly carried out by young men, some of whom wore civilian clothes while others were dressed in military uniforms,” the UN wrote on Monday when it first reported the news of the attacks. Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), David Shearer, said the attacks took place in a government-controlled area and that the safety of civilians there is primarily the responsibility of the government.

South Sudan’s leading opposition group has condemned the attacks while UNMISS is calling on authorities to protect women and girls across South Sudan against sexual violence.

In the first half of 2018, some 2,300 cases of gender-based violence were reported to aid groups in South Sudan – mostly against women and girls but more than a fifth against children.

Featured image: By Wilfried Huss / Anonymous – Flag of the United Nations from the Open Clip Art website. Modifications by Denelson83, Zscout370 and Madden. Official construction sheet here.United Nations (1962) The United Nations flag code and regulations, as amended November 11, 1952, New York OCLC: 7548838., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=437460

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.