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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

S. Sudan marks women’s day amid calls
for punitive measures on sexual violence   

JUBA, (Xinhua) -- South Sudanese officials on Wednesday urged stronger punitive measures to deter rampant sexual violence against women that has largely been used by warring factions as tool of war in the more than three years of violent conflict.

The minister of Wildlife Nunu Kumba said in Juba that the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) will not hesitate to punish sexual violence offences, and added that the law would not segregate.

“Men who rape women are not men. For us as SPLM whether it’s SPLM member that does that (rape) we condemn and we call for the law to take it’s course,” she said.

Kumba added that South Sudanese women have the power to influence the prevailing political discord in the war-torn country.

“The women of South Sudan have the power to change what is happening. We have also again gone to say that 25 percent political representation is not enough and we demand 35 percent,” she revealed.

The minister of Gender and Child Welfare Deng Awut called on humanitarian agencies to do much on economic empowerment of women.

“Humanitarian agencies should focus much on empowering women economically who are disadvantaged due to conflict,” she said.

Meanwhile, Consular of Sweden in South Sudan Ola Nilsmo said all forms of violence against women and girls must stop.

“We should collectively demand that all violations against women must end and bring perpetrators to book,” he said.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013, following political dispute between president Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar resulting in killing of tens of thousands and displacement of more than two million.

However, renewed July fighting in 2016 threatened to tear apart the fragile 2015 peace agreement to end the conflict.

           

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