South Sudan: Armed groups 'raped, castrated and slit throats of children'

The country has been embroiled in a bitter and bloody conflict since December 2013, following a power struggle between South Sudan’s president and his former deputy.

Siobhan Fenton
Friday 19 June 2015 10:09
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The Unicef transit centre in Bria.
The Unicef transit centre in Bria.

More than a hundred children have been killed in South Sudan whilst many others have been raped and castrated, according to Unicef.

Unicef says that 129 children have been murdered in the last three weeks alone, whilst surviving boys were castrated and girls were raped. They say that some children were even thrown into burning buildings.

Executive director of Unicef, Anthony Lake, said: “The violence against children in South Sudan has reached a new level of brutality. The details of the worsening violence against children are unspeakable, but we must speak of them.”

“Survivors report that boys have been castrated and left to bleed to death… Girls as young as 8 have been gang raped and murdered… Children have been tied together before their attackers slit their throats… Others have been thrown into burning buildings.”

He added: “In the name of humanity and common decency this violence against the innocent must stop.”

Following a power struggle between South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir and his former deputy, the country has been embroiled in a bitter and bloody conflict since December 2013. The political crisis sparked tensions between the two largest ethnic groups, the Dinka and Nuer.

A number of anti-government rebel groups have emerged, including the South Sudan Liberation Army.

More than ten thousand people have been killed and 1.6 million displaced since 2013.

In March of this year, the UN reported that a hundred school boys were sitting exams in school when rebel forces abducted them and forced to become child soldiers.

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