Abductions, forced child soldier recruits and sexual slavery of girls as young as 12-years-old continue in Sudan’s Western region of Equatoria.
In a joint report, the UN Human Rights Office and the UN Mission in South Sudan highlighted the plight of civilians caught up in the fighting.
It documents attacks in at least 28 villages, where almost 900 civilians were abducted, including 505 women and girls, highlighting cases of abuses committed by the opposition and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army against civilians.
The abductions are very worrisome because the majority of them are still in the hands of the captors. What is important for us is to make sure that they should be released as soon as possible.
UN Human Rights Representative in the UN Mission in South Sudan, Eugene Nindorera, said the report covers investigations in Tambura and Gbudue states in Western Equatoria. “ We were able to document that the IO, Riek Machar, have abducted 900 people, majority of them are women and children. Some of them were in forced recruitment but also a number of girls who were abducted and thereafter being raped.”
The report notes that both Riek Machar-led groups and government forces are liable for attacks on civilians – which have led to the displacements of more than 24,000 people.
“The abductions are very worrisome because the majority of them are still in the hands of the captors. What is important for us is to make sure that they should be released as soon as possible.” said Nindorera.
South Sudan plunged into civil war two years after independence from Sudan in 2011 when a political dispute between Kiir and then vice-president Riek Machar erupted into armed confrontation.