Women wait in line at a UNICEF supported mobile health clinic in the village of Rubkuai, Unity State, South Sudan. Picture: Siegfried Modola/Reuters

Johannesburg - Women in South Sudan have been treated by government soldiers and armed actors, including local militias, as spoils of the conflict, UN investigators have told the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

The plight of South Sudan’s women and girls should no longer be ignored, UN investigators told the UNHCR on Monday, citing the disturbing testimonies of sexual abuse victims who have been treated by soldiers and militias as the “spoils” of the more than five-year conflict.

“The Commission once again heard testimonies of wanton killings and numerous accounts of brutal sexual violence,” said Yasmin Sooka, Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan.

“Women in South Sudan have been treated by government soldiers and armed actors to the conflict, including local militias, as spoils of the conflict.”

In Yei county, women community leaders told the UN panel that many had been abducted by government soldiers and raped.

The resulting stigma the women faced led them to abandon their babies, Sooka said, their testimonies marking yet more trauma linked to the infighting that grew out of the country’s declaration of independence, in 2011.

African News Agency/ANA