The ECSS & S Bishop of Lomega Diocese in South Sudan has accused the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, SPLA on the side of Salva Kiir, of committing mass rape of women both old and under age. The incident occurred in Jubek state near the South Sudanese capital Juba along the Juba Nimule road.
Bishop Paul Yugusuk said in Juba that the SPLA were deployed in a village called Kubi where they looted the village, arrested youth and raped women of different ages, Yugusuk asking the international and local authorizes to investigate the actions of the South Sudan army for possible punishment.
“These soldiers in a village called Kubi under the command of first lieutenant James, they have committed mass rape. We do not know the number of children and women that are raped but I am able to visit the area and talk to commanders on the ground and I was able to bring right now in Juba teaching hospital five women, two of them are under age,” the bishop said.
“They are all raped and in a very difficult situation bleeding and so they are under treatment. Still more have run to the bushes. The whole village now is empty. All of them have run to the bush so there are many cases of rape that have not yet been reported. It is a mass rape that we have never experienced in South Sudan,” the Bishop said.
He accused the SPLA of arresting about 46 youths in the area the same day for allegedly being rebel supporters.
“We have 46 youths arrested. We talked to the commanders and 42 youths were released. Four of them are still missing and we understand they have been taken for detention. Houses were broken, properties were looted; these youths were tortured. We are unable to bring them to Juba for treatment. They need treatment. The situation is very bad.”
The religious leader asked for the intervention of the United Nation Mission in South Sudan and all peace loving actors to help the victims of the Kubi incident.
“They are traumatized, they are crying, they need counseling,” he said.
The bishop asked the ministry of defense to implement the orders of the president issued in a Yei a week ago.
President Salva Kiir instructed the Minister of Defense and the SPLA Chief of Staff to execute any soldier who commits rape or murder. Kiir issued the order while addressing crowd in Yei to celebrate the 100 years existence of the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan. Mr Kiir said that getting rid of bad elements through capital punishment will free the country from such vices.
“Let us do one thing; we get rid of bad elements amongst us and we remain clean, pure and perfect,” the President said.
“From today onward, if murder or rape happens, I want them to bring me a report that somebody has committed such a crime and has been shot [dead].” Kiir said.
“They have committed this, so we need the intervention of the minister of defense in person, Kuol Manyang Juuk, who has been given orders by the president. The president gave Kuol orders that in case of any rape by the soldiers they should take immediate action. So now the world and South Sudan are waiting for these orders to the culprits who have committed rape. They have to be investigated immediately and have to be charged,’’ the bishop said.
The bishop said the incident has hurt the church and is a very serious violation of human rights of the people of the village.
Lul Ruai, the SPLA spokesperson in Juba, said he still needs to get information on the accusation so as to be able to respond to the allegation.