- Title: Sexual violence in South Sudan has reached "massive scale" - Amnesty report.
- Date: 24th July 2017
- Summary: JONGLEI, SOUTH SUDAN (FILE) (REUTERS) INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS INSIDE CAMP
- Embargoed: 7th August 2017 15:54
- Keywords: Conflct sexual violence abuse refugees
- Location: NAIROBI, KENYA/ JONGLEI AND JUBA ,SOUTH SUDAN/ PALORINYA, YUMBE DISTRICT AND LAMWO, UGANDA
- City: NAIROBI, KENYA/ JONGLEI AND JUBA ,SOUTH SUDAN/ PALORINYA, YUMBE DISTRICT AND LAMWO, UGANDA
- Country: South Sudan
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0076R2TJ6F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Rape and other forms of sexual violence by all sides in South Sudan's civil war have become widespread and have reached a massive scale, leaving thousands battling mental distress and stigma with nowhere to turn, Amnesty International said in a report released on Monday (July 24).
Titled "Do not remain silent; Survivors of Sexual violence in South Sudan call for Justice and reparations," the report documents brutal attacks of sexual violence against thousands of people across the country since hostilities began in December 2013.
Priscilla Nyagoah is a country campaigner for South Sudan at Amnesty International.
"This report documents incidences of sexual violence women, girls and even men and boys since December 2013 when the conflict in South Sudan began, the report reveals that sexual violence has been a consistent feature of the conflict, it has occurred at every point that civilians come into contact with armed actors so whether it is during attacks against civilians in civilians villages and home areas or where civilians leave protection of civilian sites and even when civilians are arrested and under detention by government or opposition forces," Nyagoah said.
In December 2013, fighting broke out months after President Salva Kiir, from the Dinka ethnic group, sacked vice president Riek Machar, a Nuer, throwing the world's newest country into chaos, killing tens of thousands, displacing more than 2 million, and plunging at least 40,000 into a famine.
The sporadic fighting has increasingly taken on ethnic dimensions. Many of the smaller tribes accuse the Dinka of targeting them. Rebels have also targeted Dinka.
Both parties to the conflict have been accused of committing violations of international humanitarian law and gross human rights abuses, including mass killings, rape and other forms of sexual violence.
Human rights groups have also pointed to cases where, women across the country have been subjected to sexual slavery, tied to trees and gang-raped or passed from house to house by soldiers.
Rights groups have accused military leaders of ignoring or condoning widespread sexual violence as part of a strategy of ethnic cleansing.
Activists say they are especially concerned about the lack of psychological and medical care for the victims.
"So survivors of sexual violence in South Sudan face a myriad of challenges, not only challenges in accessing adequate medical treatment, they are also facing stigma from their communities and from their families. The report details women who have been divorced by their husbands, who have been shunned by their communities, who are treated differently and blamed for what happened to them instead of the perpetrator getting the blame," added Nyagoah.
With no sign of peace in sight, western donor nations announced on Friday (July 21) that they will commit no further resources to support implementation of South Sudan's peace deal, until East Africa's leaders find a credible way of relaunching an agreement ripped apart by a worsening conflict.
Signed in 2015, the deal collapsed when Machar fled the country after fighting broke out in the capital Juba last July.
The government says it is implementing the peace deal after appointing a replacement for Machar, and the West has stood by it until now.
But the donors from the European Union, the United States, Britain and Norway said they would offer no further support.
They have not specified how much funding they have been providing.
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