1 December 2018

South Sudan: MSF Helps 157 Women in South Sudan After 'Dramatic Increase' in Sexual Violence

Photo: Amnesty International/ Natalia Jidovanu
(file photo).

The sexual attacks and beatings in South Sudan over the last 12 days have targeted women walking to collect food to take home to their families. Groups of men numbering up to 20 have been accused of the assaults.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Saturday that it had given emergency medical and psychological help to 157 women and girls who have been raped, beaten and brutalized in South Sudan's Rubkona county since mid-November.

Mitchell Sangma, MSF's medical coordinator in Juba, told DW that the women had typically traveled from neighboring communities, oftentimes a three-hour walk through sparse jungle, to collect food distributed in Bentiu to take back home to their families.

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The MSF clinic in Bentiu has treated women up to the age of 65 with bruises and swelling after they were beaten with clubs and sticks. Some of the younger victims were girls as young as 10 who were treated for genital lacerations. Even pregnant women were targeted.

The perpetrators were reportedly large groups of aggressive assailants, often numbering anywhere from five to 20 men, most of whom were armed, masked and dressed in civilian clothing. MSF also had reports of men wearing military uniforms.


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