With women and girls being considered “a commodity”

More on the mess in South Sudan, from the UN.

11 March 2016 – A new United Nations report on the human rights situation in South Sudan published today describes a multitude of horrendous violations in “searing detail,” in particular by Government forces, including cases of civilians burned alive or cut to pieces and a teenage girl being raped by ten soldiers.

Although all parties to the conflict have committed patterns of serious and systematic violence against civilians since fighting broke out in December 2013, the report says State actors bore the greatest responsibility during 2015, given the weakening of opposition forces.

The scale of sexual violence is particularly shocking, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) notes in a news release. In five months last year, from April to September, the UN recorded more than 1,300 reports of rape in just one of South Sudan’s ten states, namely oil-rich Unity.

“The scale and types of sexual violence – primarily by Government SPLA forces and affiliated militia – are described in searing, devastating detail, as is the almost casual, yet calculated, attitude of those slaughtering civilians and destroying property and livelihoods,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

He said the quantity of rapes and gang-rapes described in the report must only be “a snapshot” of the real total, with women and girls being considered “a commodity” as soldiers moved through the villages. Although this is one of the most horrendous human rights situations in the world, it has been more or less “off the international radar,” he added.


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