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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

UN peacekeepers in South Sudan 'ignored rape and assault of aid workers' #HNNImpact

south sudan aid worker attack


The soldier pointed his AK-47 at the female aid worker and gave her a choice.

“Either you have sex with me, or we make every man here rape you and then we shoot you in the head,” she remembers him saying.

She didn’t really have a choice: by the end of the evening, she had been raped by 15 South Sudanese soldiers.

On 11 July, South Sudanese troops, fresh from winning a battle with opposition forces in the capital, Juba, went on a nearly four-hour rampage through a residential compound popular with foreigners, in one of the worst targeted attacks on aid workers in South Sudan’s three-year civil war. They shot dead a local journalist while forcing the foreigners to watch, raped several foreign women, singled out Americans, beat and robbed people and carried out mock executions, several witnesses told the Associated Press.

For hours throughout the assault, the UN peacekeeping force stationed less than a mile away refused to respond to desperate calls for help. Neither did embassies, including the US embassy.

The Associated Press interviewed by phone eight survivors, both male and female, including three who said they were raped. The other five said they were beaten; one was shot. Most insisted on anonymity for their safety or to protect their organizations still operating in South Sudan.

The accounts highlight, in raw detail, the failure of the UN peacekeeping force to uphold its core mandate of protecting civilians, notably those just a few minutes’ drive away. The Associated Press previously reported that UN peacekeepers in Juba did not stop the rapes of local women by soldiers outside the UN’s main camp last month.

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