21st April 2021
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Women, children abducted for bride price exchange—UNMISS

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Sunday, April 4, 2021

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has investigated human rights abuses in Kajo Keji in the south of the country. (file: January 2017)

The UN Mission in South Sudan says it believes women and children are abducted in South Sudan to be exchanged as bride price in the form of cattle.

Abductions of women and girls have been a feature of violence mostly in Jonglei state.

It is estimated that as many as 686 women and children were abducted during the extreme violence between these communities in Jonglei and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area between January and August 2020.

UNMISS said these abductions often involve sexual violence.

The outgoing head of UNMISS, David Shearer described abductions as a horrific aspect of conflict in this area that requires building trust to avoid the cycle of revenge among the Jonglei and Pibor communities.

He stated that efforts are underway to return recover women and children and tackle the underlying drivers of conflict between communities in Greater Jonglei region for years.

On Friday, UNMISS disclosed that fifty-eight women and children were reunited with their families in Jonglei state.

They are among those abducted last year during vicious intercommunal fighting in Jonglei and Pibor Administrative Area.

The exchange of abducted women and children came following a community-led goodwill agreement between the Lou Nuer, Murle and Dinka Bor ethnic communities.

UNMISS confirmed that its helicopters shuttled between Pibor, Pochalla, Pieri and Juba to pick up groups of women and children and return them to their communities.

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