JUBA South Sudan
(Xinhua) -- The South Sudan Army (SPLA)
have arrested three of its troops they suspect having been
carrying out mass rape of women and girls in a village some 50
kilometers southeast of the capital Juba in February.
Public outcry erupted last month after it emerged that South
Sudanese troops entered Kubi village and raped at least six
women and girls.
Military Spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said Friday the SPLA
leadership ordered an investigation into allegations of mass
rape by the government troops and concluded by arresting three
"SPLA is happy to announce the arrest of three SPLA soldiers
suspected of involvement in the commission of crimes against
civilians at Kubi village last month.
"The suspects would be subjected to legal processes according
to SPLA act 2009.
"If they are found guilty, they would be held accountable for
their actions," Koang said.
The accusations surfaced less than two weeks after South
Sudanese President Salva Kiir said that soldiers who commit acts
of rape and sexual assault against civilians will be executed.
The SPLA also denied accusations by the opposition troops
that government troops killed some 60 people in northern South
Sudan last week.
A UN report released in March 2016 accused both sides in
South Sudan for committing atrocities such as torture, murder
and rape against the civilian population.
South Sudan has been devastated by civil war that broke out
in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his former
deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup.
Machar denied the accusation but then mobilized a rebel
A peace deal signed in August 2015 led to the formation of a
transitional unity government in April last year, but was again
devastated by fresh violence in July.
Tens of thousands of South Sudanese have been killed, with
over 2 million displaced and another 4.6 million left severely
food insecure, since December 2013.
South Sudan, and UN to
immunize over three million children against polio
JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) --
South Sudan and the World Health
Organization (WHO) on Friday kicked off immunization exercise
targeting more than 3 million children against polio amid
multiple health challenges and famine.
The campaign is part of efforts to ensure that the country
remains polio-free and immunization stays in the forefront of
primary health care activities.
"Conflict can have devastating, multi-generational impacts,
but by leveraging our partnerships in South Sudan, we are able
to continue investing in children’s health, which is a vital
investment in the country’s future," Dr Abdulmumini Usman, WHO
Representative to South Sudan said in a statement issued in
Despite multiple humanitarian crises, including famine, the
first round of the National Immunization Days of 2017 aims to
reach over three million children under 5 with two drops of
WHO said over 18,000 trained vaccinators will carry out the
countrywide campaign using both house-to-house and
facility-based services to reach all eligible children
"The implementation of vaccination campaigns is a strong
opportunity to reach children everywhere in the country with
cost-effective, high-impact life-saving interventions and
strengthen the systems that deliver these services to the
children of South Sudan," Usman said.
South Sudan has remained polio-free for the last seven years,
but recent cases in Nigeria and the disruption in routine health
services, coupled with low coverage of routine immunization,
places the country at risk for importation of the virus.
Insecurity, accessibility and logistical challenges continue
in many areas, including in Panyinjar, Leer and Mayendit
Counties, where famine was recently declared.
"For the campaign to be effective in these areas, it will be
implemented over 10 days to allow for overcoming security and
access challenges," said the UN health agency.
To further improve vaccination coverage, special strategies,
such as evening vaccination and working with security and rapid
response teams with access to insecure, remote areas, will be
used, it said.