02-08-2016, Djibouti: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) reiterates its disappointment on the recent eruption of conflict in Juba and surrounding areas and is deeply concerned about reports of widespread and increased acts of conflict related sexual violence, especially rape (including gang rape) of women and girls in South Sudan.
IGAD strongly condemns the perpetrators of these horrendous acts that may in essence constitute genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity within the ambit of UN Security Council Resolution 1820 of 2008.
IGAD calls upon major parties to the conflict to recall commitments made since the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA, January 2014), specifically to refrain from “any acts of rape, sexual abuse and torture”. In COHA, parties pledged to institute measures such as issuance/ enforcement of orders through military and police chains of command prohibiting sexual violence; establishing accountability mechanisms; exclusion of perpetrators from the security forces and from amnesty provisions; and enhanced multi-sectoral services for survivors.
To this end, IGAD appeals to the parties to the conflict in South Sudan to institute the above measures and take immediate steps towards stopping, reversing, preventing and ending all acts of conflict related sexual violence against women and girls. IGAD also urges the parties to identify and punish perpetrators of rape with the view to ending impunity. Further, IGAD appeals to the parties to create an enabling environment for survivors to report acts of rape and other related crimes access requisite services (health, psychosocial, justice) without fear of stigmatization or reprisal.
IGAD acknowledges and commends the efforts by UNMISS, other UN agencies, international and local actors in South Sudan engaged in active protection of civilians including prevention and response to gender based violence.
IGAD reaffirms its commitment to continue working with all international, continental and regional stakeholders including the AU, UN and other partners to foster implementation of the August 2015 South Sudan Peace Agreement.