Scores of women raped in South Sudan — aid agency

Some are girls under 10 years old and others are women older than 65. (AFP)
Updated 01 December 2018
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Scores of women raped in South Sudan — aid agency

  • South Sudan’s President signed a peace agreement with rebels to end the civil war that erupted in 2013 and has killed some 400,000 people

JUBA: Unknown gunmen have raped 125 women during a 10-day spree of violence in the northern town of Bentiu in South Sudan, the aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Friday, but local officials disputed the report.
South Sudan has suffered a wrenching five-year civil war and, despite a fragile peace accord signed two months ago by the government and rebel groups, remains riven with ethnic grievances and awash with weapons.
Civilians from rival groups bear the brunt of the violence and cycle of revenge.
As well as rape, survivors of the violence in Bentiu also reported being whipped, beaten and clubbed with sticks and rifle butts, MSF said in a statement. They were also robbed of money, clothes, shoes and food ration cards.
“Some (of those raped) are girls under 10 years old and others are women older than 65. Even pregnant women have not been spared from these brutal attacks,” said Ruth Okello, a midwife from MSF.
The state minister for information in Northern Liech State where the attacks were reported disputed the veracity of the reports.
“A rape of such a magnitude is not true,” Lam Tungwar told Reuters. “We are a state (that) respects human rights and women’s rights top our list.”
Tungwar said local courts would tackle the cases of violence in Bentiu and other counties, but added: “I don’t concur with the current report because it doesn’t (accurately) portray us and the community in Northern Liech state.”
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir signed a peace agreement with rebel factions in September to end the civil war that erupted in 2013 and has killed some 400,000 people and forced a third of the population from their homes.
Previous peace deals have quickly fallen apart in the east African nation.


Indian forces kills 5 insurgents, 12-year-old boy in Kashmir

Updated 47 min 33 sec ago
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Indian forces kills 5 insurgents, 12-year-old boy in Kashmir

  • The bodies were found after an exchange of gunfire that started in northern Bandipora district Thursda
  • Insurgents have been fighting for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with neighboring Pakistan since 1989

SRINAGAR, India: Indian security forces say they have killed five militants and one civilian in gunbattles in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir.
Army spokesman Rajesh Kalia says security forces have found the bodies of two insurgents and a 12-year-old boy after an exchange of gunfire that started in northern Bandipora district Thursday.
Two insurgents were killed in western Baramulla district and another in southern Shopian area separately during cordon and search operations by security forces, Kalia and police said Friday.
A grenade attack by insurgents wounded three police officers in Sopore area Thursday, police said.
Insurgents have been fighting for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with neighboring Pakistan since 1989. India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim the region in its entirety.