38 per cent of conflict-related deaths were caused by Gov’t forces – UNMISS report

38 per cent of conflict-related deaths were caused by Gov’t forces – UNMISS report

Sexual violence related offences are in the increase in south Sudan, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said in a report.

The UN body, however, noted a decrease in the number of violence across the country, according to the latest Human Rights report released by UNMISS.

The report covered the second quarter of 2022 where 922 civilian casualties were reported. This was a 15 per cent drop in the number of victims affected by violence compared with the same period in 2021.

Of particular concern, the report said, the report adds, was the surge in the number of conflict-related sexual violence that stood at 218 per cent.

The last quarter registered an increase in rape and gang-rape, among other forms of sexual violence linked to conflict.

“The exponential surge in sexual and gender-based violence is completely unacceptable, impacting most severely on the women and girls. This violence that divides communities and hampers reconciliation needs to end,” said Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Nicholas Haysom.

As was the case in the first quarter of 2022, intercommunal conflict continued to be the primary source of civilian harm accounting for 60 per cent of civilian casualties, while 38 per cent of casualties were caused by Government forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army – In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) who are increasingly relying on allied militias engage in conflict.

The report quotes a case in southern Unity State, where violence resulted in about a third of civilian casualties in the reporting period.

UNMISS urges the Government of South Sudan to swiftly investigate human rights violations and abuses and to hold perpetrators to account.

With just a few months remaining in the transition, the Mission calls for the full implementation of the revitalized peace agreement to enable the security sector to carry out the Government’s primary responsibility to protect civilians.