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Peace monitoring body probes alleged GBV cases

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The ceasefire monitoring body, CTSAM-VM, says it has launched an investigation into prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence that may have been committed by parties to the peace deal.

The probe will be conducted in several areas, particularly Juba, Yei, Magwi and Leer.

In April, an MP representing Yei River County revealed that 19 women had been raped by soldiers between March and April 2020.

The crimes took place in Lasu, Otogo, Rubeke and Libogo areas, according to Hon Paul Yoane.

Civilians in Yei River have reportedly continued to bear the brunt of violence between government troops, SPLA-IO and forces belonging to the armed opposition, NAS.

Besides, past reports conducted by UN agencies and aid groups showed that members of the national army raped women and girls during the 5-year conflict across the country.

Some soldiers were convicted for raping women in Juba in July 2016.

Others were jailed in 2018 over Terrain Hotel incident.

However, many argue that the soldiers were punished after the government bowed to international pressure as the rape survivors were foreign nationals.

Last year, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission stated that Sexual and gender-based violence including rape, increased in the past years.

“CSTAM-VM is also concerned about the continuing prevalence of sexual and gender based violence, especially in Juba, the Yei are, Magwi and Leer, and 14 investigation are underway or have recently concluded,” said Chairman Maj.-Gen. Teshome Gebechu at a meeting in Juba on Wednesday.

The peace monitoring body, however, acknowledged the steps taken by the SSPDF to establish a committee of army’s judge advocates to investigate all cases and alleged crimes committed by soldiers in Yei.

It also noted that there are still ongoing clashes between the NAS forces affiliated with General Thomas Cirilo and both the SSPDF and SPLA-IO in the equatorial region.

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