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South Sudan: UNMISS and partners commission centre to assist survivors of conflict

safe house in Andari in Western Equatoria   -  
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South Sudan

To support some of the survivors of conflict related sexual violence in South Sudan, the United Nations Mission in the country (UNMISS) and partners recently opened a safe house in Andari in Western Equatoria.

Conflicts in South Sudan have led to traumatic experiences for many young women and men, not least the ones who have been forced to join different armed groups in the country.

The centre intends to assist 195 survivors, who will undergo short sessions of psycho-social support, counseling, and trauma healing. They can also participate in livelihood skills trainings aimed at restoring their dignity and setting them on the path of recovery and reintegration.

A women’s group representative living in the area recalls the ordeal undergone by many local girls and women.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Henrica Elias, Women’s Representative in Ezo:

“This centre is like a dream coming true, it has brought us joy we cannot express. What happened to us women and girls during the crisis is terrifying. A lot of bad things took place in our villages, where young girls and boys were also kidnapped.”

To UNMISS, the opening of this women-friendly centre is a milestone, highlighting the need and moral imperative to include everyone in the development of a nation, not least survivors of horrific traumas.

SOUNDBITE (English) Christopher Muchiri Murenga, Former Head, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Yambio:

“As part of looking for durable and inclusive peace in South Sudan, we have to bring survivors in, so that they can heal their traumas. They will then become productive members of society, contributing to the social and economic wellbeing of the state.”

With support from the European Union, the safe house was renovated by the Rural Action Aid development organization as part of the project “From Victimhood to Empowered Citizens: Survivors of Conflict Related Sexual Violence as Change Agents in their communities in Western Equatoria”, initiated by the UNMISS Women Protection Advisory Unit.

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