JUBA – At least one woman has died, two others in very critical conditions after allegedly being gang-raped by soldiers belonging to the main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLA-IO) in Morobo County of Central Equatoria State.
Speaking to Sudans Post on Thursday evening, a local government official said at least 143 civilians have been displaced and three women including the deceased were gang-raped by the SPLA-IO soldiers after unusual movement of the opposition troops was noticed on September 30.
“A total of 143 IDPs have been displaced to Morobo center from parts of Panyume and Gulumbi Payams of Morobo County since 30th September 2022. The most affected areas are Nyori, Wayiba,Atuku, Kendila, Koroji, Khartoum Kaya, Panapa,” the official said on condition of anonymity.
“The human right violations include looting of food and non-food items, beating and raping of women and so far, 3 women have been raped out of which one died. All these atrocities were perpetrated by the SPLA/IO blood-thirsty mobile forces at Panyume,” he added.
Separately, Joseph Mawa John, the Commissioner of Morobo County said displacement have been reported in several villages as SPLA-IO soldiers went on looting spree in Kendila, Yayimba, Yondu, and Koroji villages earlier this week, raping and beating civilians.
“The situation in Morobo County is generally normal but there was recent rampant displacement, looting of goats, cows, harvested food produce, and house properties including the raping of two women,” Mawa told Radio Tamazuj
“I contacted the ground commander of SPLA-IO in Payume and what he told me was that there were no food items supplied to the forces since January this year and that led to the civilian displacement in the area,” he added.
While appealing for intervention of international NGOs for humanitarian help, Mawa said resources of local government have dried up and there is nothing at the hand of the local authorities to help the displaced civilians.
“As I am talking to you the displaced people are in the town center and we registered 238 households with a total population of 814. They are staying at the county headquarters, the catholic and the ECSS church, and women and children are very miserable,” he said.
“I have been running up and down and I provided them with some rice which is not enough and they currently need food and non-food items, ” he added.
For his apart, the SPLA-IO spokesman did not deny or dismiss the allegation, but said the group will investigate the atrocities.
“As a movement when something of that nature happens, we shall carry investigations because we love our civilian communities surrounding us and especially now that civilians are returning home and that is our will to see that our people return home and enjoy their communities in peace,” he said.
“We shall investigate this and whoever caused civilian displacement will be held accountable,” he added