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MSF faces threats for exposing rape

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By JOSEPH ODUHA
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Lobby group Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) Holland has decried threats from the South Sudan government following its expose on mass rapes in the former Unity State.

MSF says the revelation of the rape of about 125 women and girls by armed men in Bentiu, which occurred last month, had caused friction between it and the Juba authorities.

An MSF official, who requested anonymity for security reasons, told the press that Juba was stalking hate against the aid agency for reporting the incident.

“The Government of South Sudan is not happy with our reporting about 125 rapes in Bentiu in the north,” he said.

He singled out the Gender, Child and Social Welfare ministry as being particularly offended by the expose.

“So-who knows- maybe our massive operations in Bentiu will come to a close and place at a risk thousands of lives,” he noted.

The South Sudan government has since been widely criticised, with the UN calling on Juba to prosecute the perpetrators.

MSF is the third largest employer of South Sudanese within the country and its officials fear any disruption of its operations could have far-reaching implications.

“If they push us out, it could trigger mass unemployment and deaths,” said the official.

The South Sudan government and the opposition fighters have been on spot several times for sexual assaults against women and girls in the battle fields.



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