Sexual violence in South Sudan has gotten really, really (really) bad

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

As if perpetual civil war wasn't bad enough, a UN special representative is now saying that the sexual violence present in South Sudan's conflict has become so widespread and pervasive that toddlers are being raped:
Rape and other forms of sexual violence by all sides in South Sudan's civil war have become so widespread that a 2-year-old child was among the victims, the U.N. special representative on sexual violence in armed conflict said on Monday.
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"Survivors and health care workers told me heartbreaking stories of rape, gang rape, abduction, sexual slavery and forced marriage," Bangura said. "Those who try to fight back against their attackers are often raped with objects instead. Some victims have even been raped to death."

She said the victims included women, men, girls and boys, with 74 percent of them below the age of 18, according to South Sudanese hospital officials.
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She said both sides in the conflict have committed sexual violence, adding that orders had been given within the military forces to perpetrate rapes on the basis of ethnicity.

Bangura added that said a radio station in Bentiu called Radio Bentiu FM was used to broadcast appeals for men to rape women and girls based on their ethnic backgrounds and what was believed to be their political loyalties.

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