On Monday, The UN said that at least 72 civilians were killed over a seven-week period in a volatile county in South Sudan.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan, in a report, indicated that the bloodshed between February 17 and April 7 in Leer County, Al Wahdah state, forced 40,000 people to flee their homes, and UN investigators recorded 64 cases of sexual violence.
The UN strongly condemned the spread of sexual violence and killings, including beheadings, burning civilians alive, and attacks on humanitarian workers, noting that “72 civilians were killed and at least 11 others were injured.”
Two women told a UN team that they were gang-raped and repeatedly raped by armed youths when they came out of their hiding places to find food for their children.
“I am strongly appalled by these horrific attacks on civilians in Leer,” Nicholas Haysom, special representative of the UN secretary-general for South Sudan, said in a statement,
“We must all do everything we can to ensure that victims and survivors get the justice they deserve and receive the care and support they need,” he added.
The violence has raised fears of a return to conflict in the country, which plunged into civil war in 2013, just two years after achieving independence from Sudan.
Contributed by Israa Farhan