SOUTH SUDAN: Women Condemn Rapes, Killings in Jonglei State

Saturday, March 24, 2012
The Citizen (Juba)
Eastern Africa
S. Sudan
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Women representatives from the Civil Society, United Nations Women Empowerment, Associations, and Women with disabilities yesterday condemned the killings of women and the recent rape cases reported in Jonglei States during the disarmament programmes.

In the ethnic conflicts in South Sudan women have fallen victims together with children like in Jonglei State among the thousands of people killed in the fighting women and children were the majority.

On 18th of this month and the first week of disarmament programmes in Jonglei State it was reported that a woman and her daughter were forced at a gun point in Pariak village and were finally raped allegedly by the soldiers who were carrying out disarmament.

The SPLA spokesperson Philip Aguer said that the two suspects were identified and are in custody and will face criminal charges in the Court of law if found guilty.

“We are not happy that women are being killed and we condemned men for the rape cases of women reported in Jonglei State in the disarmament process and the fighting which claims the lives of innocent women and children,” the Executive Director for Women Rights and Gender, Lona James Elia said in a press conference yesterday at Sahara Hotel after women were asked reactions about the killings and alleged raping of women in Jonglei State.

However, she said that the only problem is that women still fall victims of conflicts because those who are killed in every violence can be either their husbands or children hence it still affects them.

The women said that they are in solidarity with their counterparts in Jonglei State and other states in conflicts although they have not visited them when they were grieved.

“We always called for unity of Women in South Sudan and we discussed in the workshops that we should come together as women in South Sudan, we need to sensitize women and remain united all over South Sudan” the Executive Director for South Sudan Women Empowerment Network (SSWEN) Lilian Riziq said.

A woman representative from Greater Upper Nile Region Mary Chan connected the killing of women to the customary law which does not give chance for women to speak and claim their rights.

She further said that the high dowry demanded by parents during marriages is also part of the conflicts because every one wanted to get cattle at least for him to marry many wives, while other women ponder that it is not only Dinka and Nuer who demand a lot of dowries but all the communities in South Sudan. Hence it is a practice which needs review of the customary law.