The impacts of sexual abuses and gender violence on the children and women of South Sudan

Posted: August 31, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

The Impacts of Sexual Abuses and Gender Violence on the Children and Women in the armed Conflict and Post-conflict Settings of South Sudan

 By Malual Garang, Bor, Jonglei state 

president salva kiir

August 30, 2017 (SSB) — It is universally true that, the perpetrators committed sexual violence and human rights abuses on the children and women and such as human rights gross violations and atrocities contributed to the widespread of sexual transmitted diseases in the conflict settings of South Sudan. In fact, both warring parties committed the worse human rights violations and war crimes during the onset of civil war and ethnic conflict in 2013 up to now.

However, the government turns deaf ear and blind eye to the victims and thus, ignorance and negligence inspired me to discuss the topic of Sexual Abuses and Gender Based Violence against the women and children in order to raise awareness and also to condemn prejudice, injustice and atrocities committed against children and women in armed conflict.

Moreover, I will use empirical evidence based on personal experience to explain the crises of gender and sexual violence against the children and women and to what extend should the United Nations such as UNICEF, Save the Children and Human Rights Watch Group intervene to help the vulnerable groups of people who are subjected to cruel treatment by the rebel groups as well as government armed forces.

In fact, the perpetrators violated the women and children’s health and social rights as well as rights to life. For example, many women were raped in Juba, Bor, Bentiu and Malakal during the civil war in 2013-2014 even now. The government and rebel armed forces are still committing sexual abuses and gender violence against the women and children as a tool to punish their opponents despite the fact that, the children and women are not part of civil war and ethnic violence.

Such gender violence described the violation of International Humanitarian Law, a set of rule which seek, for humanitarian reasons, to limit the effects of armed conflict. It protects people who are not or are longer participating in the hostilities and restricts the means and methods of warfare. Therefore, the gender violence poses a risk in children and women’s health. In fact, many victims of gender and sexual violence developed mental health problem.

However, I suggest that, the government of South Sudan with United Nations Human Rights actors such as UNICEF, Save the Children and Children’s Rights Organisation should take the issues of child abuses and sexual violence into consideration and seek the fundamental approaches to tackle human rights gross violations in South Sudan.

Undisputedly, the impacts of Sexual Abuses and Gender Violence on the Children and Women in South Sudan led to Post-Conflict Traumatic Stress Disorders. For example, the survivors of Bor Massacre are now traumatized as well as those who witnessed and encountered sexual and gender violence in the country.

Therefore, I suggest that, UNICEF, Save the Children, International Women Development Agency including Department of Gender-Based Violence at United Nations in New York should intervene and put more pressure on the Government of South Sudan to end Child Sexual Abuse and Gender Violence such as rape and ethnic killings of the women and children in the country.

Not only to end the sexual violence, but to implement 2015 Peace Agreement and adhere to Peace Agreement Modalities as well as Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law in the armed conflict as an essential and guiding principle to protect women and children in the war-torn country.

Fundamentally, intervention of UNICEF, Save the Children and Human Rights Watch Group would be a primary solution to safeguard and protect the children and women. As we are aware of problems such as Child Forced Marriage, Early Child Marriage, Child Trafficking, Child Sexual exploitation, and Child Labour in the conflict settings of South Sudan.

In fact, it would be significant for the human rights activists to condemn sexual violence and war crimes an essential way of protecting the children in the armed conflict. For example, in 2013-2014, the Nuer White Army raped the women and killed children in Bor and then put the sticks in the women’s private parts, but government or the Nuer White Army Leaders did not condemn such atrocities and sexual violence.

In fact, Government did not bother herself to address the gender and sexual violence committed against the women and children during the civil war and this reluctance encourages the armed forces to continuously committing human rights abuses and sexual and physical violence.

Therefore, I argue that, the women and children are being victimized and neglected by their own government. For that reason, I call for United Nations and Human Rights Watch Group to intervene and help the vulnerable children and women in the conflict settings. I conclude that, many victims of sexual abuses contracted HIV/AIDS and the sexual transmitted diseases.

This is a main issue rather than the post-conflict traumatic disorders. In essence, I strongly condemn the Government of South Sudan for neglecting the women and children rights. It is essential for the Government to work on the issues that affected the women and children’s health in the country.

It is true that, many women have developed mental health problems especially in armed conflict areas. For example, I witnessed a woman who got mental health problem.  One night, Murle Criminals attacked her family, killed her husband, raped her and abducted all her children and such sexual and physical violence left a terrible void and traumatized her, however, the Government neglects to support her.

Now, she is living on the street, just begging for food. Her story inspired me to write on the impacts of Child Sexual abuses and Gender Violence against the women in conflict settings of South Sudan. This topic of Gender Violence is very sensitive and emotional. Therefore, I suggest that, the United Nations should take a tough action to solve the humanitarian crises of gender violence and sexual abuses in South Sudan.

The children are victims of sexual, physical and gender violence, however, it is essential for UNICEF to get involved and save the children in such a dire situation.

For example, an issue of child abduction in Jonglei is very common and emotional. Every day, we hear the report of child abduction and sexual violence, however, the government has failed to draft the Child Abduction Act and Gender Violence Act into law or form Child Abduction Military Police to respond and track the abducted children and recover them.

On top of that, I suggest that, United Nations (UNMISS) should draft the strategic planning and introducing monitoring Team of Military Corps to tackle the issue of child abduction based on Convention of the rights of Children and Women Protection.

To sum up, the impacts of Violence contributes to malnutrition, displacement, targeted ethnic killings, diseases epidemic and death. Many children are dying of poor health; malnutrition and starvation in the displaced camps as well as many children are dropped out of school.

For this reason, I suggest that, it would be much better for UNICEF, Save the Children, and International Medical Corps and other NGOS operating in South Sudan to provide humanitarian assistance and fund education in emergencies as the essential remedies for Internally Displaced people to improve their poor health and get education.

Last but not least, I call for United Nations to put more pressure on the Government of South Sudan to bring to an end the suffering of vulnerable people in the armed conflict and post-conflict settings of South Sudan.

The author, Mr. Malual Garang, is a Writer, Lecturer and Director for Research at Centre for Human Rights and Gender Based Violence at the Dr. John Garang Memorial University, Jonglei state, South Sudan. He can be reached via his email: malualg@yahoo.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

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