July 19, 2016 (JUBA) – Six women and 2 underage young girls have been raped in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, by soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir, an aid worker claimed .
- A woman prepares food as displaced women, men and children gather, in Juba, South Sudan at the UN compound in Tomping area, Tuesday, July 12, 2016 (AP Photo)
The incident reportedly occurred on Monday when the women and girls left the United Nations protection of civilians (PoCs) site at Jebel Kujur and went to the nearby Jebel market in search of food as UNMISS could not provide enough food for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) residing in the camp.
An aid worker who only identified himself as ‘John’ due to fear for his safety told Sudan Tribune the two young girls were found unconscious and bleeding severely, after they later revealed that they were raped by ten men in SPLA uniform, South Sudan’s official army.
He accused the SPLA of instead turning against women to defile them rather than protecting them as a national duty.
“It is unbelievable to see soldiers from this country turn against women and children and raped them like that,” John said.
Another medical doctor who also spoke on condition of anonymity told Sudan Tribune that the 8 victims of the Monday incident were single mothers and orphaned girls who have no husbands or parents in the camp.
He said he felt a lot of pain seeing the young underage girls bleeding because soldiers of a national army did this to them.
“When I saw these young girls bleeding in front of me, I felt painful in heart because this is a humiliation to children and women of this country,” she added.
“These are crimes against humanity. You cannot go and sleep with your own kids and claim to sleep with women,” she ridiculed the SPLA soldiers.
She called on the international community to intervene in South Sudan and rescue the nation from the failed leadership of President Salva Kiir..
“I believe international community must have solutions to all dark activities in the country. For how long should they look at South Sudan to end inhuman crimes,” she asked.
Many residents and eyewitnesses who spoke to Sudan Tribune have confirmed the incident happened during the day time when women walked to buy food in the market, and as they were returning to the UNMISS camp, SPLA soldiers caught them.
Nyadieng, one of the victims said as they headed back to the UN civilians protection site, men in SPLA uniform appeared and surrounded them and took them away at gun point.
“We were about four women, as we returned from market the soldiers told us stop there or else we will shoot at you, and we stopped and they took us to the bush,” she narrated.
She said as they walked about 100 metres from the main road, they saw other two women and two very young girls laid unconsciously as each woman lined up by three to four men.
She said the soldiers after raping them called them wives of rebels or SPLA-IO, calling on UNMISS to provide adequate food to the IDPs in taking refuge in its compounds so as to avoid the risk attached to looking for food in the markets.
According to the human right watch reports, forces loyal to the South Sudanese government have been repeatedly accused of using rapes as payment to soldiers who have not been paid their salaries for many months.
Opposition forces in some incidents have also been accused of raping women during the two years of war which ended in August last year.