Friday, March 11, 2016

Rape as a weapon of war in South Sudan

Remember all the support that came from the Christian West to rescue their so-called persecuted brothers and sisters in the south Sudan from the so-called marauding Sudanese from the north? Well, if you don't recall, I can't blame you it was more than two decades ago. Doctored pictures of persecution were even used to arm the south Sudanese animists and Christians to start a guerilla war, which we call today terrorism, against the government in Khartoum. With the support gained from powerful Christian nations within the UN, esp. UNSC, it was a question of time when South Sudan would become an independent nation.
So, ultimately, South Sudan emerged as an independent state, based on a UN plebiscite held earlier. It did not have to go through the pains and sufferings of the Chechens and other Central Asian Muslims, and Bosnians and Kosovars.
South Sudan - the new state - is rich with oil, which always brings in trouble, or so it seems. Some of the former terrorist/guerilla leaders became rulers of the land and they have not shared the wealth equitably with others. Racism and tribalism is running deep to create hatred. Peaceful existence has become a mirage!
An unnamed UN official told news agencies that 50,000 have died in the conflict, which is a fivefold increase of the toll previously reported by humanitarian agencies.
For several years now the former terrorist groups are fighting amongst each other for the share of the black gold, and committing war crimes. They are raping women in front of their children, parents and husbands. It is very tragic.
Children and the disabled in South Sudan have been burned alive and pro-government militia allowed to rape women as a form of payment, a new UN report has said.
The investigation accused all sides in the country's civil war of targeting civilians for murder and rape but said the army and government-allied forces were most to blame for what it described as "one of the most horrendous human rights situations in the world".
"The report contains harrowing accounts of civilians suspected of supporting the opposition, including children and the disabled, killed by being burned alive, suffocated in containers, shot, hanged from trees or cut to pieces," the UN human rights office said in a statement on Friday.
More than 1,300 rape cases were recorded in just one of South Sudan's states - the oil-rich Unity state - over a five-month period last year, the report said.
One woman told the UN investigators she had been stripped naked, raped by five soldiers in front of her children on the roadside, then raped again by more men in the bushes only to return and find her children missing.
"Credible sources indicate groups allied to the government are being allowed to rape women in lieu of wages but opposition groups and criminal gangs have also been preying on women and girls," the UN said.
The prevalence of rape "suggests its use in the conflict has become an acceptable practice by (government) SPLA soldiers and affiliated armed militias," it added.

Here is the latest info on South Sudan.

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