UNMISS and Partners Open Safe House for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Survivors in South Sudan

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In a bid to aid survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in South Sudan, the United Nations Mission (UNMISS) in the country and its partners have inaugurated a safe house in Andari, located in Western Equatoria.

The protracted conflicts in South Sudan have left many individuals, especially young women and men, coerced into joining various armed groups.

The newly established centre aims to support 195 survivors, providing them with short sessions of psycho-social support, counselling, and trauma healing. Additionally, survivors will have the opportunity to engage in livelihood skills training programmes aimed at restoring their dignity and facilitating their recovery and reintegration into society.

A representative from a women’s group residing in the area recounted the harrowing experiences endured by many local girls and women during the conflict.

Henrica Elias, Women’s Representative in Ezo, expressed her sentiments in Arabic, stating, “This centre is like a dream coming true, it has brought us joy we cannot express. What happened to us women and girls during the crisis is terrifying. A lot of bad things took place in our villages, where young girls and boys were also kidnapped.”

For UNMISS, the establishment of this women-friendly centre marks a significant milestone; the necessity and moral obligation to involve all segments of society in the nation’s development, particularly survivors of profound traumas.

Christopher Muchiri Murenga, former Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Yambio, emphasised the importance of integrating survivors into efforts for durable and inclusive peace in South Sudan.

Renovated with support from the European Union, the safe house was refurbished by the Rural Action Aid development organisation as part of the project “From Victimhood to Empowered Citizens: Survivors of Conflict Related Sexual Violence as Change Agents in Their Communities in Western Equatoria,” initiated by the UNMISS Women Protection Advisory Unit.

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