Juba - The US ambassador to the United Nations is calling for an
independent commission to take testimony from rape victims of a rampage by
South Sudanese soldiers at a hotel compound popular with foreigners.
Samantha Power spoke on Saturday as the UN Security Council visited the country
on the brink of renewed civil war. Fighting in the capital, Juba, in July
with South Sudan's Council of Ministers, Power urged the government to hold
accountable the soldiers who attacked the Terrain compound during the chaos,
targeting Americans and raping women.
Associated Press investigation found that victims were also beaten and forced
to watch a local journalist being shot dead.
Sudan has set up a commission of inquiry into the attack amid concerns about
its transparency. Power said many victims of the "ghastly acts" feel
frightened to come forward for fear of retaliation.
also called for accountability for attacks on civilians. Another AP
investigation found South Sudanese soldiers raped several local women and girls
outside a UN camp in July.
met with women who described a huge surge in sexual violence against women who
leave the camp in order to try to get firewood," Power said after Security
Council members visited the camp where tens of thousands shelter.
a mother, I can't imagine that choice - a choice in whether I cook for my kids
or whether I risk sexual violence outside the camp," Power said. "I
know I would go and take that risk for my children. I think any mother
dozen camp residents demonstrated in support of the deployment of 4 000
additional peacekeepers approved last month by the council.
Sudan's government has objected to the force.
the force doesn't come, we shall die," said Samuel Gatoonyakuok, 26.