Rights group in South Sudan accused of abusing children
May 20, Khartoum: Boys and girls as young as seven years old have been abducted, raped and killed in South Sudan, the UN children’s agency on Wednesday said.
According to UNICEF, dozens of children have been killed, at least 12 raped and others abducted and recruited in attacks in the country’s Unity state over a two-week period.
Witnesses believe the attacks were carried out by armed groups aligned with South Sudan‘s military, UNICEF said in a statement on Monday.
“Survivors reported to UNICEF staff that whole villages were burned to the ground by armed groups, while large numbers of girls and women were taken outside to be raped and killed – including children as young as seven,” the statement said.
“At least 19 boys, some as young as 10 years of age, and seven girls were killed. Others were mutilated or recruited to join the fighting and take care of stolen cattle.”
South Sudan‘s military recently launched an offensive against anti-government forces, drawing concern from watchdog groups and the regional monitoring bloc over fighting in Bentiu, the capital of Unity state.Fighting is also taking place in Upper Nile state.
Doctors Without Borders reported on Sunday that health workers had fled with their patients into swamps as clashes hit the opposition stronghold of Leer in Unity state.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Monday that tens of thousands of people forced to flee the fighting would suffer from a lack of food and health care while on the run.
The Oslo Times