A 14-year-old girl, two other women gang raped

By Morris Dogga

At least three women including a 14 years old girl were gang raped allegedly by forces belonging to the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) in Lasu Payam of the defunct Yei River State, a member of parliament representing the area in the defunct State Legislative assembly said.

Lokoroto Daniel Arama told Juba Monitor that the incidents happened in Zabara village of Lasu Payam, an area of about 25 miles from Yei Town.

He said the other two women were still in the villages in Lasu.

 “We received a girl of 14 years old. She was brought yesterday (Tuesday) from Lasu. This girl was believed to have been gang raped by three soldiers who might have gone from Lasu Payam headquarters where the SSPDF soldiers are deployed. The girl was brought to Yei where she is under-going  treatment, and indeed she is really in a very desperate situation,” said Lokoroto.

When contacted, the army spokesperson Maj. General Lul Ruai Koang said they haven’t received any official complaint from either the victims or the local authorities about the incidents.

This is yet another rape incident believed to be involving armed men in the SSPDF. In April, lawmakers representing the defunct Yei River State, complained the raped of 19 women allegedly by men in Uniform, an allegation that the army had denied.

Arama said they had registered 14 reported rape cases from January to date, adding that most of the cases went unrecorded because the victims were shy or fear to report to the authorities.

 “Many women shy away or fear because of stigma and shame that they would be abandoned by their husbands. Some of them are raped and they don’t tell anybody.”

The lawmaker further accused the government soldiers of brutally torturing civilians and looting their food items in Lasu. He urges the National Government to intervene.

“What is happening now in Lasu needs a lot of interventions. Our own soldiers who are deployed to provide their constitutional mandate of protection of the civilians in the area have gone outside their responsibility in the villages, and without asking any question, they just start beating women, beating everybody that comes across them,” he said.

He alleged that about 30 people were brutally beaten by the soldiers in Zabara village in a separate attack in the last one week.

“When the soldiers get to your home, they loot everything, even the 14 years old girl who was raped, all her clothing were taken. When they get food items in your granary they carry it all away.”

“They cut down the coffee trees before harvesting, a practice that is not done by the farmers. What is happening in Lasu is a total destruction.  All these that have happened have been done by our own forces that have been deployed in Lasu Payam.”

He said most of the civilians were displaced and were currently sheltering at Nyori refugee settlement an area about 23 miles from Yei town with nothing to eat.

“Many people are opting to run to Yei town, others are opting to run to the Democratic Republic of Congo but because of the coronavirus they cannot make it. So they are wondering in the bushes with nothing to eat.”

He appealed to President Salva Kiir Mayardit and all the heads of the organized forces to ensure justice prevail for the raped victims.

Chapter Five of the 2018 peace agreement provides for the establishment of an independent hybrid judicial body to try the suspects of crimes committed during the civil war.

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