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Police launch search for rape survivor in Yei

By James Atem Kuir

Police forces have begun a search to find the whereabouts of a 15-year-old Gender-Based Violence survivor who went missing after recovering from a hospital in Yei.

The minor was reportedly gang raped by nine men in Hai Police residential area and had been admitted in Yei Civil Hospital but could not be traced again after leaving the hospital last month.

Maj. Gen. Lujang Kamba, the Yei Police Commissioner said the teenager had earlier told Police that she recognized one of the nine suspects who abused her.

The Senior Police said he had ordered Police and intelligent operatives to search for the teenager to help them arrest the suspects.

“I have ordered the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and public security to look for the whereabouts of the girl. She disappeared after leaving the hospital and we have been trying to find her,” he said in an interview with Juba Monitor yesterday from Yei.

“We are searching so that she can give us the details because she told us last time, she can identify one of the suspects. The others can be traced easily and brought to book,” he added.

Gen. Kamba further stated that the youngster will not be punished and was only needed to help with investigations.

“We are not going to punish or detain her. She is actually a survivor and we want to ensure she gets justice by bringing these wrongdoers to book,” he said.

“We want to inform her about her rights because there’s so much lack of awareness about gender-based violence. Culture and traditional beliefs tend to condone such acts but they are unacceptable. She might have decided to settle it out of court and that is not acceptable. The perpetrators have to face the law,” he said.

In October last year, a military court-martial in Yei  sentenced 24 SSPDF soldiers into different prison terms for committing various crimes including sexual violence against civilians in Yei.

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