Thousands of people in South Sudan have been victims of the sexual violence perpetrated by South Sudanese military forces during the ongoing conflict.
According to a report published by Amnesty International in July, “thousands of South Sudanese has been subjected to sexual violence including rape, gang rape, sexual slavery, sexual mutilation, torture, castration, or forced nudity.”
The research report named “Do not remain silent: Survivors of Sexual violence in South Sudan call for justice and reparations” was conducted by Amnesty International and ten South Sudanese human rights defenders.
“It’s such a high level of incidents, widespread, been going on for a substantial period of time, not isolated incidents…” explained a war crimes prosecutor, Ken Scott, to Al Jazeera.
Acts of sexual violence have increased significantly in South Sudan since the beginning of the conflict in December 2013. According to the South Sudan Protection Cluster, between 2015 and 2016, sexual and gender-violence have increased by 61%.
Government forces loyal to Salva Kiir, as well as opposition forces loyal to Riek Machar, have been guilty of the sexual assaults. Women, young girls, and men who have been victims of rape suffer from stress and emotional breakdown, and they do not know where to go for help. They need medical care and assistance.
There have been international calls for the South Sudanese government to investigate these crimes of sexual violence, to condemn them, and to bring those responsible to justice.
by Valeria Nazzi (Rome, Italy)