December 5, 2018 (JUAB) – South Sudan peace monitoring body called on the South Sudanese government to investigate the cases of sexual attacks on over 150 women and girls along roads near Nhialdu and Guit to Bentiu in Northern Liech State between 19 and 29 November 2018.
In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) said the preliminary investigation by the by the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) confirmed the occurrence of the sexual violence.
“While CTSAMVM continues to carry out full investigations, JMEC calls upon the government to conduct a speedy, transparent and timely investigation into the attacks and apprehend the perpetrators, hold them to account and urge that CTSAMVM be given full access and support to complete its investigations,” further stressed the statement.
The UNMISS which also investigates the rape said the assaults happened in a government-controlled area and carried out by young men in “civilian clothing or military uniforms”.
The JMEC indicated that the attacks occurred south of Bentiu town in the areas between Nhialdiu and Bentiu, Thil and Padai road and Bentiu town to Guit.
Also, the peacekeeping mission announced Wednesday that several UN human rights investigators have arrived in Bentiu to probe the attacks.
JMEC’s call to investigate the sexual violence comes after statements by Northern Liech State authorities denying the occurrence of the attacks.
In a related development, the Embassy of Canada to South Sudan said concerned by the attacks and called for “a thorough investigation of the reported crimes, and a commitment to bring those responsible to justice”.
“The brutal attacks against women and girls in the Bentiu area not only requires immediate action, it requires immediate reflection on how the issue of sexual and gender-based violence continues to challenge the full promise of South Sudan,” stressed the Embassy in a statement to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.