The United Nations (UN) has released a report documenting harrowing cases of systemic rape and killings in the conflict in South Sudan perpetrated by both government forces and rebels.

According to the report, in five months last year, from April to September, “more than 1,300 reports of rape in just one of South Sudan’s ten states, oil-rich Unity” were recorded. One witness noted that: “If you looked young or good looking, about ten men would rape the woman; the older women were raped by about seven to nine men”.

The UN report says it aims at to highlight the gross violations and contribute towards the establishment of an effective process which guarantees the non-recurrence of rape and killings, to prevent such violations from re-occurring.

However, this is not the first time that the South Sudanese government has been accused of using sexual violence and the subjugation of women a systematic tool of war. Previous reports have documented that women and girls are being raped as ‘wages’ for government-allied fighters in Bentiu.

Last year, the African Union (AU) also released a report exposing disturbing findings through testimonies of forced cannibalism, gang rapes, and the discovery of mass graves amongst other alleged atrocities.

As a political solution to address the crisis remains elusive, neighbouring countries are experiencing a steady increase in the number of refugees. More than 14,000 refugees have fled the conflict, seeking refuge in Uganda, while the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic have also experienced a surge in South Sudanese refugees fleeing the conflict.

Source: United Nations