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125 women raped in northern South Sudan in one week

Residents of Bentiu Protection of Civilians site pictured on 15 February 2016 (UNMISS photo)
November 30, 2018 (JUBA) - Some 125 women and girl under ten years were raped and beaten in Rubkona County of Northern Liech State in the 10 days between 19 and 29 November 2018, said Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Friday.

“Women and young girls have been coming to the MSF clinic in Bentiu en masse over the past week after surviving horrific episodes of sexual violence,” said Ruth Okello, MSF Midwife in South Sudan.

“Some are girls under 10 years old and others are women older than 65. Even pregnant women have not been spared from these brutal attacks,” Okello further said.

The humanitarian group did not provide any information about the perpetrators of the rape but added that the survivors had been whipped, and beaten, also they were robbed of money, clothes and shoes.

"Even their ration cards to receive food distributions have been taken and destroyed by their attackers".

During the five-year civil war, UN and humanitarian groups documented rape and atrocities against civilians in the conflict areas. However, the government and the opposition groups signed the revitalized peace agreement and no attacks or violations of the ceasefire were reported in the area.

During the 10 past months, MSF treated 104 rape cases in the area said Okello pointing that she has never seen such a dramatic increase in sexual violence similar to the past week.

MSF’s operational Manager for South Sudan called to protect civilians in the areas and create the appropriate conditions to enable aid groups to reach the ravaged county of Rubkona and provide the needed humanitarian assistance.

"These horrifying attacks show that they continue to live in an extremely violent and insecure environment," said Akke Boere.

(ST)