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Juba woman accuses peacekeeper of ‘forced’ hug, selfie

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Monday, March 9, 2020

A Bangladeshi peacekeeping unit arrives at JIA | File photo

A 29-year-old businesswoman has accused a UN peacekeeper of inappropriate conduct with her at her shop in Juba on International Women’s Day.

Penina Jotaba owns a shop near Mobil roundabout.

She told Eye Radio that she was cleaning and organizing her shop on Sunday morning when a Bangladeshi peacekeeper walked in.

The unnamed soldier allegedly asked the young woman to take a selfie with her – a request she declined.

“I told him I could not allow him to take a picture with him because I don’t know him and I am a responsible person,” Ms Jotaba narrated the incident.

As a result, Penina said the soldier forcefully hugged her.

“While I was walking past him to go and open the door, he grabbed me and gave me a hug.” she continued.

“I pushed him away, with all the energy I had. He hit his back against the wall, and told him to please leave my shop immediately.”

Ms. Jotoba said she immediately reported the matter to the police.

The laws of South Sudan prohibit any act that violates the privacy of a female.

Whoever, intends to insult the modesty of any woman by uttering any word or, makes any sound or gesture or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard or that such gesture or object shall be seen by such woman or violates the privacy of such woman, commits an offence, and upon conviction shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or with a fine or with both, according to the Penal Code 2008.

Between 2004 and 2016, the UN received almost 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation, including 300 involving minors, from Bangladesh, Brazil, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uruguay, and Sri Lanka, among others.

The latest data available by UN peacekeeping’s conduct and discipline unit reveals four cases of sexual exploitation and abuse by Bangladeshi peacekeepers, which have been reported by the UN to Bangladesh.

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