UN documents 120 cases of sexual assault in South Sudan capital

July 28, 2016 2:00 pm

This photo taken on July 1, 2016
shows people waiting to be registered as displaced persons in a South
Red Cross compound in Wau, . (By AFP)

The United Nations (UN) has
documented at least 120 cases of sexual violence against civilians in
South Sudan’s capital, Juba, since fierce clashes erupted there three
weeks ago.

The UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan
continued to receive “deeply disturbing reports of sexual violence,
including rape and gang rape, by soldiers in uniform and men in plain
clothes against civilians, including minors, around UN House and in
other areas of Juba,” Farhan Haq, a spokesman for the international
body, said on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, heavy fighting raged
through the East African country’s capital between troops loyal to South
Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebels backing his former deputy,
Riek Machar, claiming the lives of at least 272 people before a shaky
ceasefire was called.
Haq noted that UN peacekeeping soldiers had
increased patrols in an attempt to provide protection for women after
reported rapes.
The UN peacekeeping force is protecting tens of thousands of people at camp sites located in Juba and elsewhere in South Sudan.

A
child wades through mud as people receive rations of water at the UN
compound in the Tomping area in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, July 16,
2016. (Photo by AFP)

According to the UN,
about 36,000 people fled their homes because of the recent violence in
Juba, with 7,000 of them taking refuge at its compounds.
Thousands of South Sudanese fleeing the violence were, meanwhile, clamoring to cross the border into Uganda.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) also called on “all armed parties to ensure safe passage for people fleeing the fighting
“UNHCR
is also worried about the situation of some 9,000 urban refugees, who
have told UNHCR about their security concerns as well as difficulties in
getting food and water,” it said in a statement on its website.
A
bloody civil war in South Sudan began in December 2013, when Kiir
accused Machar of plotting a coup against him. The two parties then got
involved in a cycle of retaliatory killings that have split the
impoverished country along ethnic lines.

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