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Only female gov vows to fight crimes against women

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: Thursday, July 23, 2020

Sarah Cleto, governor of WBGS, in an interview with Eye Radio’s Emmanuel Akile at a hotel in Juba on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 | Credit | Nana Alfred/Eye Radio

The newly appointed governor of Western Bahr el-Ghazal state has vowed to prioritize security and address crimes related to gender-based violence.

Sarah Cleto says due to years of violence, women and girls in the state have gone through numerous challenges, including harassment and sexual violence.

She cited rape as the most worrisome crime committed against women.

“We carry the burdens of war even though so many people will not acknowledge it because women don’t carry guns, but they suffered so much during this war,” Cleto said in an exclusive interview with Eye Radio.

UN reports indicate that Western Bahr el-Ghazal is one of the states affected by conflict, with thousands of people displaced at the UN camp.

In February 2018, the UN mission revealed an allegation of sexual exploitation involving police personnel belonging to a Ghanaian Police Unit at the Wau Protection of Civilians site.

The entire unit of 46 police officers was withdrawn from duty station and later flown to their home country.

Areas surrounding the state capital, Wau, have also witnessed clashes between the government and opposition forces.

There have also been clashes between farmers in Western Bahr el Ghazal and the pastoralists in the neighboring states.

Aid agencies say the impact of such acts of violence is felt by the most vulnerable groups of women, elderly and children.

Governor Cleto, who took oath of office on Monday, promised to exert efforts towards protecting women and children.

“As a female governor and as a mother I have the responsibility of ensuring that the dreams of women and girls who have suffered during these wars come true,” she stressed.

Sexual violence has continued to be reported in areas most affected by conflicts.

In recent weeks, there have been disturbing reports of rape, killings and other forms of gross human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by men in uniform in Juba and around Yei River County.

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