Under Fire: Report on the July 2015 Violence In Juba and UN Response

peace-1A comprehensive report on the July 2016 violence in Juba, South Sudan and the UN response was recently published.  You can find this report by clicking here: http://civiliansinconflict.org/uploads/files/publications/CIVIC_-_Juba_Violence_Report_-_October_2016.pdf

This violence that occurred in Juba was very disturbing on many levels, but the most horrific incidents were the rapes that occurred against local Sudanese women and international expatriate staff.   Soldiers and allied youth militia perpetrated widespread sexual violence against women and girls, many who were in search of food and other basic necessities.  Soldiers also attacked the Terrain Hotel and proceeded to gang rape at least five international aid workers and physically or sexually assault at least a dozen others, despite their pleas for help to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), UN Peace Keepers, and the US Embassy during the incident.

This report revealed that after the fighting began, UNMISS was confined to its bases and did not provide any protection to anyone outside.   UNMISS was found to have “clearly underperformed in fulfilling core parts of its mandate, including protection of civilians…”   The UN Peace Keepers failed as well.

I find this a call to action to examine our organizations’ responsibilities to help protect our beneficiaries and our staff from this kind of violence.  We also need to be sure we have staff care support to help our employees who survive these horrendous acts.