Threat of violence

Dozens of women have reportedly been assaulted and raped at U.N. camp in South Sudan

Young girls in a United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) IDP camp in Juba. According to (CHARLES LOMODONG/AFP/Getty Images)

 

At a United Nations camp in South Sudan that is housing some 30,000 civilians seeking refuge from fighting in the country, government soldiers are accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women while U.N. peacekeepers looked on and did nothing. According to the Associated Press, on July 17 two armed soldiers in uniform dragged a woman from  the outside edge of the U.N. camp while as many as 30 peacekeepers surrounding the complex watched.

“They were seeing it. Everyone was seeing it,” a witness told the AP. “The woman was seriously screaming, quarreling and crying also, but there was no help. She was crying for help.”

Soldiers were reportedly allowing women to leave the compound to go out to look for food, and then attacking them as they returned to the camp. Peacekeepers are charged with protecting civilians from the threat of physical violence.

Chantal Persaud, a spokesman for the U.N. mission in the country, confirmed at least one assault occurred as peacekeepers watched and the U.N. is looking into the allegations. Persaud said there have been 120 documented cases of sexual violence and rape against civilians since the violence in South Sudan erupted.

Read the full story at NPR.

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