Girls raped, boys abducted, towns torched: South Sudan

South Sudanese soldiers and gunmen have been in the middle of some of the country’s heaviest fighting.
Gunmen in South Sudan have raped girls, seized boys to become soldiers and torched towns in some of the heaviest fighting seen in the 17-month-long civil war, the United Nations has said.

Over 300,000 civilians have been left without “life-saving aid” in the northern battleground state of Unity, after the UN and aid agencies pulled out due to a surge in fighting, with over 100,000 forced to flee their homes.

The UN peacekeeping mission said it was “increasingly concerned” about reports from Guit and Koch counties in Unity state of “towns and villages being burned, killings, abductions of males as young as 10 years of age, rape and abduction of girls and women, and the forced displacement of civilians.”

The violence is some of the worst in months, as government forces push south from the state capital Bentiu into an opposition zone around the town of Leer, home to some of the country’s once lucrative oil fields.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has also withdrawn staff from Leer and warned escalating fighting between forces loyal to president Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar was forcing thousands of civilians to flee for their lives yet again.

Unity state governor Joseph Monytuil told reporters government troops aimed to take Leer from opposition forces within days.

“Our forces… are now pursuing them to where they came from,” he said.

Doctors Without Borders said Saturday it was forced to evacuate its foreign staff from Leer and halt all medical services amid fears the rebel-held town was about to come under “imminent attack” from government forces.

‘Man-made’ civil war marked by brutal violence

They are supposed to be sitting for exams, but hundreds of South Sudanese children are now feared to be on their way to the front line as the country’s civil war drags on.
South Sudan’s civil war began in December 2013, and has been characterised by ethnically-driven massacres, rape and attacks on civilians and medical facilities.

The violence in the world’s youngest nation erupted when president Salva Kiir accused ousted deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup.

Peace talks in neighbouring Ethiopia have so far failed to reach any lasting agreement, or even an effective ceasefire.

The violence, which has escalated into an ethnic conflict involving multiple armed groups, has killed tens of thousands of people and forced more than a million to leave their homes.

It has also left over half of the country’s 12 million people in need of aid, with 2.5 million people facing severe food insecurity, according to the UN.

In February, the government attempted to broker peace by calling off elections, which have been postponed until 2017.

The European Union condemned the fighting, saying “South Sudan’s man-made crisis has caused one of the worst humanitarian disasters of recent years”.

EU aid chief Christos Stylianides said there “can be no military solution to this conflict” and that responsibility for striking a peace deal rests on the shoulders of the leaders.

“If they fail to make the necessary effort for peace, they will inevitably be held responsible also for the consequences,” he said in a statement.

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Source: AFP

One Response to Girls raped, boys abducted, towns torched: South Sudan

  1. Raul May 14, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    This really breaks my heart, that is somebody’s child there and we have certain individuals in our societies who think of nothing but their own personal agendas. I have lost all hope with the UN because i don’t really see how nations are united when nations are torn apart from within like this here and not to mention whats happening in Burundi, the massacres in Angola, black on black violence that took over South Africa just a few weeks back. What even amazes me more is that even in the midst of all this senseless violence, civil wars, nothing good really comes out of it. I mean most states in Africa have failed mainly because of one main factor. They lack a sustainable development mentality, period. I hope that with the upcoming generation, new leaders they will change this dark continent images that has for long engulfed Africa.

    Reply

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