Amnesty International’s latest report on South Sudan discusses how the parties in the conflict have subjected thousands of South Sudanese to sexual violence. The report, “Do Not Remain Silent: Survivors of Sexual Violence Call for Justice and Reparations,” released yesterday, details how thousands of South Sudanese have endured sexual violence, including rape, gang rape, sexual slavery, sexual mutilation, torture, castration, and forced nudity. Victims include men, women, the elderly, and children.
“Survivors interviewed for this report described a situation in which sexual violence is rampant, taking place any time civilians come into close proximity with armed actors. This includes during military attacks on villages, during searches of residential areas by armed actors, along roads and at checkpoints, and following abduction or detention. Most incidents happened alongside other forms of violence, including killing, looting and destruction of homes.” – Amnesty International report
The report says survivors of sexual violence face immense challenges in accessing appropriate medical care. Their situation is made more onerous by the fact that local laws don’t recognize rape as a crime. The stigmatization of rape also creates a psychological burden on survivors.
The report warns that sexual violence has exacerbated communal tensions and calls on the government to take measures to rebuild fragmented ties between communities.
It goes on to say:
“Most fundamentally, the abuses must stop. The government and all opposition forces must ensure that their members cease acts of sexual violence by issuing clear orders prohibiting sexual violence, providing forces with appropriate training, and putting in place mechanisms to adequately monitor the conduct of forces. There must also be repercussions for forces who engage in sexual violence – those responsible for abuses must be brought to justice.”
Click here to read the report.