JOHANNESBURG, September 18 – Government forces loyal to South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir are mainly responsible for the rape of thousands of women during the ongoing four-year-long conflict in the world’s newest nation, Al Jazeera reported on Monday.
However, opposition force loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar have also carried out their share of sexual assaults and rapes on South Sudanese women fleeing the violence, according to Ken Scott, a war crimes prosecutor who described the violence as the worst he had ever witnessed.
Amnesty International in a July report confirmed the rape of the women, as well as some men, in what it described as ethnically motivated sexual attacks.
The report “Do not remain silent: Survivors of Sexual violence in South Sudan call for justice and reparations” Amnesty said the survivors were battling mental trauma and had nowhere to turn for assistance.
“Aggravated acts of sexual violence have been committed against thousands of people across the country since hostilities began in December 2013,” said Amnesty.
The report was the result of collaboration between the international rights group and 10 South Sudanese human rights activists who remained unnamed due to fears of reprisals.
The conflict in the world’s newest country has largely split along ethnic lines between Kiir’s Dinka tribe and Machar’s Nuer tribe.