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UN documented over sixty cases of sexual violence

UN documented over sixty cases of sexual violence
The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General special, Nicholas Haysom, also head of UNMISS. |Credit | Daniel Garang Dneg/TRC

The UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has reported that cases of sexual abuse doubled in the past twelve months. According to the UN, most recent cases were recorded from January to March 2022.

At least 63 cases of conflict-related sexual violence were documented compared to 28 cases last year.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Nicholas Haysom says, most violence was associated with inter- or intra-communal forms of conflict, particularly in Jonglei, Eastern Equatoria, and Warrap states.

He pledged the UN will do its best to tackle conflict-related sexual violence and asked the authority to take action.

“With violence surging in several parts of the country, UNMISS urges the Government of South Sudan to investigate human rights violations and abuses and hold perpetrators to account,” he said.

Overall, cases of violence against women go to 173, impacting 754 civilian victims, reflecting a 32 percent decrease in incidents and roughly the same number of civilian victims compared to the same quarter in 2021.

UN Human Rights Division compiled the report and observed that inter-communal violence, particularly cattle-related conflict, was concentrated in areas where communities compete for scarce resources contributed by climate change.

The UNMISS expressed a commitment to protect civilians by deploying peacekeepers in conflict hotspots.

“UNMISS continued its extensive activities to prevent and respond to conflict hotspots throughout the reporting period. From January to March 2022, the Mission maintained six temporary operating bases in conflict hotspots and conducted 1,002 short distance patrols, 75 long-distance patrols, and 93 air patrols,” Haysom said.

The Mission has also encouraged the government to fully implement the agreement on unified command and control structure and graduate and deploy the necessary unified forces for South Sudan to be stable.