South Sudan Civil War: Women Narrate Gang Rape and Other Sexual Assault Ordeals

women gang raped in south sudan

South Sudanese women have told of their horrific experiences of violence, sexual abuse and gang rape that they have suffered in the country’s brutal civil war.

A particular woman narrated how she was raped by five soldiers and her husband was stabbed and killed when he tried to stop them. She recalled that her husband was walking behind her when she was attacked, he came and found four men on her and as he tried to save her from them, they brought out a knife and stabbed him to death.

The woman said the five men she identified as government soldiers for her rape and that of four other women.

Another woman remembers being blindfolded and then stripped, before being raped by three men with her baby laying nearby before fleeing naked. Aljazeera reported these horrifying stories and spoke to survivors as well human rights groups about the atrocities of the civil war.

South Sudan gained its independence from the rest of the Sudanese country in 2011 after a referendum but has ever since been in constant turmoil.

A Civil war broke out in 2013 after President Salva Kiir Mayardit sacked his cabinet and accused his Vice-President Riek Machar of being behind a failed coup.

A peace accord was signed by both parties in 2015, but the country plunged into chaos again in 2016r.
Amnesty International, as well as other Human rights groups, say troops from both the government and the opposition have all been responsible for the violence in the country.

Some of these violent acts sometimes have had ethnic dimensions, as President Mayardit belongs to the majority Dinka group, while his rival Riek Machar belongs to the second-largest Nuer group, while at other times the atrocities are indiscriminate.

Amnesty International had previously given detailed reports of how women and men have faced shocking levels of sexual slavery, including rape, gang rape, sexual violence, sexual mutilation, castration, torture or forced nudity.

A woman, only identified as Sara, narrated how her 60-year-old mother was gang-raped by three soldiers while she was harvesting food for the family.The attack was so brutal that she was left with a dislocated hip and was still in the process of recovering two months later when she spoke with Amnesty International.

29-year-old mother-of-three, Sofia told the Amnesty International about how she was kidnapped from her village by soldiers who kept and used her as a sex slave for about a month along with five other women.

She said at night, the rebels chose who to sleep with, she told them that she is a mother and a widow and that her husband was shot dead, but they cared less.

The government has denied the allegations that its soldiers were part of the violent and sexual crimes against women saying soldiers who are caught engaging in rape or sexual abuse are punished.It also refuted the claims of survivors saying they could be lies.

 

photo credit: Amnesty International.

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