UN investigates systematic sexual violence across South Sudan

OCHA/Jacob Zocherman Mother and daughter in Unity State, South Sudan.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Widespread and systematic sexual violence across South Sudan, just a few months after the country’s top two politicians signed a renewed commitment to peace, was at the top of the UN Commission on Human Rights in the country’s agenda on Friday, as members ended their first fact-finding mission.

The three-person team investigating rights violations in the world’s youngest country, which has been mired in bloody civil conflict since 2013, arrived on the ground shortly after more than 150 women and girls were reportedly sexually assaulted in the northern town of Bentiu.

“The viciousness of these horrific attacks in Bentiu on so many women, is shocking, given that these atrocious acts occurred just as people’s hopes for an end to violence are starting to surface following the peace deal,” Commissioner from Uganda, Barney Afako, stated. He added that “accountability must now follow.”

The Commission is investigating these violations and will report its findings to the Human Rights Council in March. Government officials also said they were investigating the Bentiu attacks, saying they would share and corroborate their findings with the Commission.

More than 65 per cent of women and girls in South Sudan have reportedly experienced sexual violence at least once in their lives. Given the endemic impunity to the widespread and systematic use of sexual violence by the country’s warring parties, accountability has been a core element of the Commission’s work.

Commissioners stated their hope that South Sudan’s leaders can now seize the opportunity provided by the Revitalized Peace Agreement for Resolution of the Conflict, signed on 12 September, to stem the violence, ensure accountability, restore peace and assist the countless victims to rebuild their lives.

Since it was formed in March 2016, the Human Rights Council-mandated Commission’s has been six times to the region.

So far this month, Commissioners have visited South Sudan, Sudan and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  From 15 to 19 December, Mr. Afako will travel to refugee camps in Uganda where some 785,000 South Sudanese are settled.

Among other things, this visit aims to look first-hand at how the June Peace Agreement, brokered by the regional development body (IGAD) with the support of the UN and African Union (AU), was taking hold, particularly focussing on the conflict’s countless victims.

Supported by a team of investigators and researchers based in Juba, they are also gauging how the more than four million South Sudanese displaced by the brutal war can be returned and recompensed.

“Everybody we spoke with during our visit expressed hope that the agreement will lead to durable and sustainable peace,” observed Commission Chair, Yasmin Sooka, who hails from South Africa. “Most South Sudanese are desperate to return to normal life and put the conflict behind them once and for all, yet they want to ensure that the conditions are right so they can live free of fear and want.”

During meetings with the Government, the Commission also raised the need to improve the status of women in in the country, citing the case of a South Sudanese girl whose virginity was publicly auctioned off to the highest bidder, reportedly including a post on the Facebook platform.

“A holistic transitional justice programme will provide South Sudan a vital opportunity to address the status of women,” maintained Ms. Sooka.

In line with their mandate, the Commission is also collecting and preserving evidence to combat impunity, and, as such, is assisting with a future Hybrid Court, as laid out in Chapter Five of the Peace Agreement.

“Many of those we spoke with stressed that establishing the Hybrid Court, together with the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing, and the C­ompensation and Reparation Authority, could help contribute to stabilizing the country,” Commissioner, from the UK, Andrew Clapham said.  “This would certainly send a strong signal to those who have suffered violations in connection with the conflict.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Healthcare for refugees: a necessary symbiosis of medicine and politics

Why the West supports the yen’s devaluation and Japanese over-indebtedness

The COP22 is under full deployment while Donald Trump threatens openly to withdraw the US from the Paris agreement

Is the West gradually losing Africa?

Acute food insecurity ‘far too high’ UN agency warns, as 113 million go hungry

Italian banks: It’s Rome’s turn to confront Berlin’s aggressiveness

A geared turbofan at Pratt & Whitney's production hub in West Palm Beach (copyright: Pratt & Whitney - a UTC Company- 2018; Source: Pratt & Whitney's website, media center)

The EU Commission approves UTC’s acquisition of Rockwell Collins under conditions

In a time of rising xenophobia, more important than ever to ratify Genocide Convention

Latvian economy is thriving, but boosting productivity, improving social protection and transitioning to a low-carbon productive model are vital for sustainable and inclusive growth

Does EURES really exist?

The Dead Sea is drying up, and these two countries have a plan to save it

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: updates from the Near East and Libya, Ebola in DR Congo, World War remembrance

From UN Assembly podium, Central African Republic leader appeals for lifting arms embargo

Haiti: ‘Laden with challenges’ but also hope, Mission chief tells Security Council

AXA and Fremtind discuss how AI and analytics is changing insurance claims forever

Banking on sunshine: world added far more solar than fossil fuel power generating capacity in 2017

2nd Global Consultation on Migrant Health 21-23 February 2017 in Sri Lanka

Torture is unacceptable and unjustified ‘at all times’ underscore top UN officials

Can the world take the risk of a new financial armageddon so that IMF doesn’t lose face towards Tsipras?

FROM THE FIELD: Stopping aquatic hitchhikers to safeguard environments at sea

MWC 2016 Live: Mobile ad industry still waiting for “revolution”

The use of technology in medicine: How to not deconstruct our ethics

MEPs want to ensure sufficient funding for Connecting Europe’s future

Indigenous peoples ‘lag behind on all social and economic indicators’: UN deputy human rights chief

Outgoing UN official praises Iraq’s ‘exemplary peaceful transfer of power’ at the top

IMF: Sorry Greece it was a mistake of 11% of your GDP

Rising insecurity in Central Africa Republic threatens wider region, Security Council told

UN sounds alarm as Venezuelan refugees and migrants passes three million mark

Syria: Urgent, concrete actions needed, to protect children too young to ‘make sense of this senseless war’

UN expert criticizes States for ‘ganging up’ on Wikileaks’ Assange; warns against extradition, fearing ‘serious’ rights violations

EU labour mobility: Inconvenient truths for everybody

Mergers: Commission prohibits proposed merger between Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp

The quality of health education around the globe

Hiring more female leaders is good for profits. Here’s the evidence

Seaweed, enzymes and compostable cups: Can ‘Big Food’ take on plastic and win?

Civilian deaths in Afghanistan hit record high – UN

International World Summit Award calls for outstanding digital applications with impact on society from 178 UN member states

“As German Chancellor I want to be able to cope with the merger of the real and digital economy”, Angela Merkel from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Tobacco in Pakistan: is it worth to burn your money?

EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: EUR 400 million Special Measure on education adopted

Future Forces Forum: Prague will be hosting the most important project in the field of Defence and Security

Tech must embrace teamwork to transform the world

African continent ‘an example of solidarity’ towards migrants and refugees: UN chief

Everything you need to know about water

In China things are moving in the right direction

How to build a paradise for women. A lesson from Iceland

The Junior Enterprise concept: Business & Education

UN News 2018 Recap: In Case You Missed It

COP21 Breaking News_10 December:#ParisAgreement: Points that remain in suspense

What are the real debates surrounding immigration in an increasingly globalized world?

Changing world of work needs new jobs strategy

Will the French let Macron destroy their party political system?

Commission launches new tool to support digital teaching and learning in schools

Continue ‘their mission’ urges UN chief, as the victims of the Baghdad bombing are remembered, 15 years on

It’s just electronic cigarette, don’t worry?

UN official sees ‘unprecedented opportunities’ to make progress on peace in Afghanistan

Will technology connect or divide us? The challenge for leaders in Globalization 4.0

Council Presidency: Floundering with the EU 2014 budget

Far from a healthy Health Workforce: lack of workforce planning leaves our citizens without access to proper care

‘Think beyond farm jobs’ to reach sustainable development, UN agriculture chief advises African youth

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s