- Written/Submitted by External Source
- Category: Latest (South) Sudan News From Various Sources
- Hits: 130
Reuters, 15/06 17:36 CET
By Hereward Holland
JUBA (Reuters) – The United Nations and South Sudanese authorities said on Friday they were investigating reports police had abducted and raped women during a disarmament programme in the east of the troubled African nation.
South Sudan declared independence from Sudan a year ago under a 2005 peace agreement that ended decades of civil war. But its government has been struggling to assert control over a country still torn by ethnic tensions and awash with arms.
The United Nations said residents of the country’s Jonglei region reported police attacked women earlier this month during a push to collect weapons from the area’s fighting Lou Nuer and Murle tribes.
The announcement came after a group of aid and rights groups, including U.S.-based PACT, issued a report accusing the army and state police of beatings, harassment, killings, torture and sexual assault of civilians during the disarmament campaign.
The United Nations mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said it had received unconfirmed reports three women were abducted from Likuangole and another three from Manyabol on June 11.
“We are following up reports from (residents) that policemen are being accused of having conducted rape and abduction,” said spokesman Liam McDowall.
“We’re following up reports of quite serious outbreaks of disorder and we are supporting the South Sudanese authorities in their enquiries,” McDowall said.
The mission said two children drowned in a river when residents fled police shooting in the village of Likuangole on June 8.
Joshua Konyi, the commissioner of Jonglei’s Pibor area, said some policemen stationed there during the disarmament programme took several women to Likuangole by force, adding that details were still unclear.
“Two ladies, one of 16 years and one of 13 years, were raped that night by the armed forces. We don’t know whether they are police or soldiers,” he said.
“I don’t know the details of who raped those women but according to what we heard, information we got from Likuangole, the ladies themselves said (the men) had military uniforms. I’m not sure if they were police or SPLA (army) uniform.”
“They (also) took three women from Manyabol,” he said.
South Sudan, one of the least developed countries in the world, is attempting to transform its army and police from a jigsaw of former rebel militias into regular forces.
Overwhelmed with the task of building up a state from scratch, the government has had little success in kickstarting development.
In January, South Sudan lost 98 percent of state revenues when it shut down its oil production in a row over export fees with Sudan.
(Editing by Ulf Laessing and Andrew Heavens)
euronews provides breaking news articles from Reuters as a service to its readers, but does not edit the articles it publishes.
Copyright 2012 Reuters.
Newer news items:
- South Sudan, still in infancy, already a global problem child - Kansas City Star - 17/06/2012
- Sudan: No changes to 2011 border with south - Boston.com - 17/06/2012
- South Sudanese demand back pay before flight - Haaretz - 16/06/2012
- Sudan's Bashir: Agreement with south must be based on 2011 accord - Washington Post - 16/06/2012
- NU lands big man from South Sudan, reportedly Loul Deng's cousin - Chicago Tribune - 15/06/2012
Older news items:
- Israeli deportation of South Sudan refugees signals policy shift - Washington Post (blog) - 15/06/2012
- South Sudan one year later - News Talk 980 CJME - 15/06/2012
- South Sudan reps in Israel: Deportation undignified - Ynetnews - 14/06/2012
- Tel Aviv crackdown strikes fear in South Sudanese - Gulf Times - 13/06/2012
- South Sudan seeks arbitration over disputed borderlands - Reuters Africa - 13/06/2012
Popular news items:
- South Sudan troupe sees new country's struggle in Shakespeare - Los Angeles Times - 17/05/2012 - Read 3616 times
- With prisons full, South Sudan to introduce mobile courts to clear backlog of ... - Washington Post - 11/10/2012 - Read 2501 times
- NDSU student from South Sudan receives scholarship - In-Forum - 29/09/2012 - Read 2293 times
- Tackling Blindness in South Sudan - Care2.com (blog) - 09/11/2012 - Read 2175 times
- Clinton urges Sudan, South Sudan reconciliation - USA TODAY - 03/08/2012 - Read 2006 times