Rights group urges justice for victims raped by national army

Press Release

South Sudan’s soldiers stand at attention during the official independence day ceremony. Photo © J.B. Russell
South Sudan’s soldiers stand at attention during the official independence day ceremony. Photo © J.B. Russell

Press Release | The Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) has recently noted with great concern gross human rights violations perpetrated against women in the country.

On Wednesday, CPA learned that innocent women were gang-raped between March and April of this year in South Sudan and such an unbearable incident was confirmed by a law maker representing Yei River County in the Transitional Legislature Assembly and perpetrators happened to be “men in uniform”. CPA urges the government to hold perpetrators accountable and brought them to book.

“The failure of the government to protect and support victims of sexual violence undermines the quest for justice,” said the group’s national Director Ter Manyang Gatwech.

Since the signing of Revitalized Peace Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) on the 12 September 2018 in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia by parties to the agreement and therefore, human rights situations remain a challenge for the last two years in South Sudan.

Late last year to early this year, rape and gang rapes occurred in northern Unity state has been reportedly continuing this year, with perpetrators apparently thinking they could get away unpunished a statement by U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet (Source Reuters news). Last November there were report of 125 women and girls who were allegedly raped or gang raped over a 10-day period reported.

Reference Reuters: http://reut.rs/3rHsVek

Violence against women and girls in South Sudan remains a challenge. Two thirds of women who have experienced domestic violence say it was perpetrated by an intimate partner, while one in four women report that their first sexual experience was forced. It is important to note that in cases of sexual violence, many women do not report due to fear, stigma and the trauma that is associated with the offences.

“These police brutalities are just a tip of the ice bag of the magnitude of violence committed against women on a daily basis in this country.”

We at CPA condemn these acts of injustice committed by individuals and other criminal groups in the country. As a Human rights organization, we urge the government to bring these criminals to justice and also to speed up the formation of states governments and hybrid court for South Sudan to avoid such violations.

Rights group urges respect for human rights in South Sudan

Rights group urges respect for human rights in South Sudan |© Thessherald
Rights group urges respect for human rights in South Sudan |© Thessherald

Dec 11, 2020 (Thessherald)–A human rights advocate, Reech Malual, who doubles as the Executive Director of Screen of Rights, a Juba-based human rights and peacebuilding organization, has urged South Sudanese to rejuvenate their fight for human rights and freedoms.

Reech, who was speaking yesterday as the world marked this year’s Human Rights Day, also called upon the government to respect human rights and bring violators to book.

“It is time for South Sudanese to look at each other and see how far they have gone concerning executing or being able to at least walk in the spirit of the bill of rights according to the constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 as amended. We are very happy that the law is very clear about what should be done. But similarly, what is left is for the government to be able to reinforce, which we have seen of late the government is reinforcing,” Reech said.

He added, “We have also seen that some of the violations of human rights are committed by government officials, who are not held to account at the end of the day.”

Reech said South Sudanese need to rejuvenate a spirit towards each that can be able to adhere to human rights respect.

“The theme of this year is stand up and ‘Recover better-stand up for human rights’. Who stands up for these rights? It is you, I, and the government,” Reech said.

Yesterday, 10th December 2020 was Human Rights Day. It is observed every year and was adopted in 1948, as a Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a milestone document that proclaims the absolute rights to which everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

This year’s Human Rights Day theme relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and focuses on the need to build back better by ensuring Human Rights are central to recovery efforts.

According to a UN fact-based report on the state of respect for human rights around the world, the US has documented human rights violations in South Sudan. These include arbitrary deprivation of life and other unlawful or politically motivated killings, the disappearance of individuals, torture, and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of people.

The report also documented the conditions of prison and detention centers in South Sudan, arrest procedures and treatment of detainees, denial of a fair public trial, and many more.

Originally published by Radio Tamazuj