South Sudan Peace Monitors Help Bring Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Perpetrators to Justice

After decades of civil war, South Sudan reached a fragile peace in 2018. In this volatile environment,
sexual and gender-based violence is still prevalent. The multinational body that monitors the South Sudan
peace agreement (CTSAMVM) has monitoring and verification teams (MVTs) located in nine of the most
conflict affected areas of the country. The MVTs patrol their areas of responsibility and gather information
on potential violations of the agreement which they immediately report to their headquarters in the capital
Juba for further action.

CTSAMVM has been especially attentive to sexual and gender-based violence. On 13 February 2020
Sudanese army (SSPDF) soldiers, numbering approximately 30, entered the settlement of Rubeke, near
Yei, in the province of Central Equatoria. In the village 3 women and a 14-year-old girl were raped/gangraped and severely physically abused by soldiers in uniform. According to the CTSAMVM report
transcripts, one of the women was pregnant and about the 14-year old girl: “The severely traumatized girl
is an orphan who lives with her grandparents and brother. She had gone to fetch water on the day of the
attacks and when she returned to her home she found it surrounded by soldiers with weapons. Her
grandfather and uncle were in the house. She was pulled into the house and sat next to her male cousin.
The soldiers removed her clothes, her cousin asked them to stop but they fired a shot into the ground in
front of him, her aunt came in to the house and asked them to stop but she was beaten. The girl was
raped by one of the soldiers who then stole money from the house.”

The monitors collected detailed information about the incidents
and interviewed victims of rape in the village.
Upon corroboration of these allegations by other members of
the community, the report was filed to the capital Juba.
Following the report, the army conducted its own investigation
that led to the court-martial of the soldiers involved.

CTSAMVM monitors were present at the trial in September to
ensure that proper proceedings were followed and the
perpetrators were sentenced. Thus, CTSAMVM is taking an
active role in monitoring and reporting sexual and gender-based
violence so a lasting peace with gender safeguards can be
achieved in South Sudan.

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