ADDIS ABABA,–African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Saturday urged the South Sudan government to ensure security for all its citizens, particularly women, children, and civilians.

Dlamini-Zuma was dismayed at the continued occurrence of violence in many parts of South Sudan, the AU said in a statement.

“She is particularly hurt by the persistent use of sexual violence against women and girls as a weapon of war. The chairperson condemns in the strongest terms the recent very serious incidents involving about 120 documented cases of sexual violence since the start of the current crisis on 7 July 2016.

“The chairperson is particularly shocked by the latest incidents, allegedly perpetrated by men in uniform, as well as others in plainclothes, in close proximity of [the United Nations Mission in South Sudan] UNMISS civilian protection camps, especially in and around Juba,” the statement said.

Dlamini-Zuma reminded the political and military leaders on all sides in the conflict of their responsibilities, and said sexual violence against women and children was a heinous crime and a serious violation of their rights, as Africa marked 2016 as the year of human rights with particular focus on the rights of women. She urged the leaders to ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes were held fully accountable for their actions in an expeditious manner.

“The chairperson calls upon the government of South Sudan to ensure security for all its citizens, particularly women, children and civilians, and to abide by its commitment to the full implementation of all provisions of the August 2015 peace agreement without any further delay.

She also encourages the UNMISS to continue implementing its protection of civilians mandate as the AU, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and UN finalised consultations on the modalities for the rapid deployment of the regional protection force recently approved by the AU assembly in Kigali, Rwanda, on July 18, 2016.”

“The chairperson reaffirms the AU’s unwavering commitment to support the full implementation of the August peace agreement so as to restore peace, security, and stability for the people of South Sudan,” the statement said.-

Source: Name News Network