South Sudan’s government, in partnership with UN agencies, set up a special court Thursday to handle gender-based violence (GBV) cases which continue at a high rate.
“This is part of the overall plans to develop initiatives to reduce GBV and its negative impact,” country’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Chan Reec Madut said at the opening of the court in Juba.
“Gender-based violence is a result of ignorance of some men who think that they are more superior to women. I think such men need medical attention because the way they think is not normal,” he said. “The opening of GBV court is happening at the time the whole world is gearing its efforts for 16 days in order to address issues of GBV, the opening of this court is timely occasion,” said Madut.
“GBV is a reality and it is happening every minute in our society and in our country. This is a project that is within the budget of the judiciary of South Sudan but our partners assisted us because we are in economic crisis, their assistance is necessary,” he added.
UN Development Programme (UNDP) deputy country representative Christy Ahenkora said the establishment of the court will see perpetrators of abuses against women tried.
“Almost 670 cases involving sexual violence have so far been registered with 13 cases of rape against male offenders which have resulted in 12 convictions and that largely demonstrates that people will not get away by taking the law in their own hands and abuse other people’s rights,” said Ahenkora.
Ahenkora said the establishment of the court is sending a strong signal that South Sudan will hold perpetrators accountable.
The Ministry of Gender and UN Population Fund estimates 6,295 incidents of gender-based violence were recorded from Jan. 1 -Sept. 30 this year.