Gov’t Soldiers Rape Women and Underage girls from UN Base in South Sudan, Aid workers say case is among Hundreds unreported

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On Monday June 18, 2016, aid workers at UN Civilian protection site in south Sudanese capital Juba reported that government soldiers, loyal to president raped Six women and two underage girls.

The South Sudan government has not taken any action or made a comment about the matter something rights activists interpret as a lack of political will to abate these crimes. Human rights agencies say soldiers operate with total disregard to the law.

An aid worker at Juba hospital who spoke to East Africa Daily by telephone said the hospital has received “much more cases than those reported in the media”.

“Since the violence started here, hell broke loose. Many young girls have lost their innocence, they have to go through this trauma everyday. I suppose these girls need counseling” she said.

Another UNMISS workers who spoke to the media on anonymity for fear of attacks on their lives say the rape incident occurred when the women and girls left the United Nations protection of civilians (PoCs) site at Jebel Kujur and went to the nearby Jebel market in search of food as UNMISS could not provide IDPs residing in a camp

UNMISS worker who only identified himself as ‘John’ told the media that the two young girls were found unconscious and bleeding profusely, after they later revealed that they were raped by ten men in SPLA uniform, South Sudan’s official army.

He accused the SPLA of instead turning against women to defile them rather than protecting them as a national duty.

“It is unbelievable to see soldiers from this country turn against women and children and raped them like that,” John said.

Another medical doctor who also spoke on condition of anonymity told Sudan Tribune that the 8 victims of the Monday incident were single mothers and orphaned girls who have no husbands or parents in the camp.

She said is was a solemn thing to watch young girls bleed under her hand due to the pain inflicted on them by lawless feature of the national army.

“When I saw these young girls bleeding in front of me, I felt painful in heart because this is a humiliation to children and women of this country,” she added.

“These are crimes against humanity. You cannot go and sleep with your own kids and claim to sleep with women,” she ridiculed the SPLA soldiers.

She called on the international community to intervene in South Sudan and rescue the nation from the failed leadership of President Salva Kiir..

“I believe international community must have solutions to all dark activities in the country. For how long should they look at South Sudan to end inhuman crimes,” she asked.

Many residents and eyewitnesses who spoke to Sudan Tribune have confirmed the incident happened during the day time when women walked to buy food in the market, and as they were returning to the UNMISS camp, SPLA soldiers caught them.

Nyadieng, one of the victims said as they headed back to the UN civilians protection site, men in SPLA uniform appeared and surrounded them and took them away at gun point.

“We were about four women, as we returned from market the soldiers told us stop there or else we will shoot at you, and we stopped and they took us to the bush,” she narrated.

She said as they walked about 100 metres from the main road, they saw other two women and two very young girls laid unconsciously as each woman lined up by three to four men.

She said the soldiers after raping them called them wives of rebels or SPLA-IO, calling on UNMISS to provide adequate food to the IDPs in taking refuge in its compounds so as to avoid the risk attached to looking for food in the markets.

According to the human right watch reports, forces loyal to the South Sudanese government have been repeatedly accused of using rapes as payment to soldiers who have not been paid their salaries for many months.

Opposition forces in some incidents have also been accused of raping women during the two years of war which ended in August last year.

With Files from Sudan Tribune/Additional reporting by East Africa Daily