Rape Survivors In South Sudan Are Helpless Due To Russian Inversion Of Ukraine

The UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan has revealed that Russian inversion of Ukraine has radically diminished fund for emergency medical and psychosocial support for victims of sexual violence in the country. 

“It is appalling to see women gang raped five times during the nine years of conflict in South Sudan, imagine being raped by multiple armed men again and again,” Yasmin Sooka, the Chairperson of the Commission said on Thursday.

Another human rights commissioner, Barney Afako,on his part said that their loud cry does not imply that there is a lot of sexual violence in South Sudan but because for half the population of  women and girls – sexual violence is how they primarily experience violence.

“It’s not that there is a lot of sexual violence in South Sudan and not that sexual violence ebbs and flows in the country – it’s happening in clandestine yet the attention of international community is elsewhere,” Afako said.

Relatedly, Andrew Clapham,who is also a commissioner of human rights said that, women raped while collecting firewood are threatened with death if they report their ordeal to the authority and also scolded  the police for being inappropriately equipped to do their jobs because they cannot arrest a soldier who is well armed and protected

The UN experts completed their visit this week to Western Equatoria, and they were told that survivors were like zombies, physically and emotionally dead, after going through brutalizing rape episodes since 2013. 

The UN professionals  who also unveiled that, among the cases they have registered is that of a 7 year old girl who was abandoned for dead by her abductors further revealed that a substantial number of rape victims do not report their ordeals to the authority  due to fear of stigmatization

“Access to medical and trauma care by victims is increasingly difficult as health workers are fleeing their duties to keep safe. In Unity State, on our way we saw toddlers playing with used syringes scattered around a destroyed medical clinic,” they added

Non-governmental organizations could fill the gaps but their funding is reducing at the apex of demand for psychosocial services and awareness outreaches about kits that can prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, they continued.

The commission also said there is no formal courts to deal with criminal offenses In Unity State and rural parts of Western Equatoria, and that some victims told the Commission that their cases against the military to the police are always denoted back to the military rather than being investigated by police. 

“We saw many teenage girls with babies around military bases, and heard multiple accounts of soldiers from both government and opposition forces abducting women while others are attacked while collecting firewood or cultivating to survive starvation,” they said.

The Commissioners were speaking at an event hosted by Global Survivors Fund, headed by Dr Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, Nobel Peace Prize laureates 2018.

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