UN organizes workshop on preventing sexual exploitation in southern Sudan
Working alongside southern Sudan’s Government, United Nations agencies and international and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the UN mission in the country (UNMIS) today organized a workshop aimed at preventing sexual exploitation in the south, following a similar seminar held last month in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.
Separately, UNMIS reports continuing deadly violence in the strife-torn Darfur region of the impoverished country, including the killing of an internally displaced person (IDP) in west Darfur last Saturday after suspected Arab militia entered an IDP camp, and also the build up of militia forces over the last five days in the same region.
UNMIS said today’s workshop, which is being held in Juba, southern Sudan, aims to share information about the UN’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation, while assessing achievements and identifying gaps in preventing the crime, especially against children in the region. It will also set up a joint reporting and assessment mechanism.
High-level government officials, UN and NGO representatives, as well as local community leaders are expected to attend the one-day workshop.
Also in southern Sudan, UNMIS reports that tents belonging to several UN agencies were destroyed last Saturday by police from the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLA), adding that a joint investigation, involving both the world body and the SPLA, is currently underway into the incident.
On the subject of west Darfur, the mission reports that two armed individuals, suspected to be Arab militia, entered Krinding II IDP camp in Al Geneina last Saturday, burnt an IDP shelter and shot dead one of the IDPs who came out to protest. The assailants fled the camp after the killing.
Also in Al Geneina, on Sunday two armed individuals, again suspected Arab militia, hijacked a Sudanese Government vehicle at gunpoint, before abandoning it when police gave chase. In a separate incident on Sunday, a UN convoy on mission in Zalingei was refused access at a checkpoint by the Sudanese military.
UNMIS also reports that armed militia have been mobilizing in large numbers over the last five days in the general area of Abou Souroug and Sliea, around 50 kilometres north of Al Geneina, although it is unclear the reason for this build-up.
In south Darfur, an ambulance belonging to an international NGO was returned last Friday after being hijacked a few days earlier, while on Saturday shooting –– apparently by three drunk Government policemen, took place in Otash IDP camp. There were no casualties.
Speaking in an interview with UN radio at the weekend, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern about the situation in Darfur, decrying the “massive human sufferings” in the region, where at least 200,000 people have been killed and 2 million others displaced from their homes since 2003.
Mr. Ban said in talks with his Special Envoy, Jan Eliasson, Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir “promised he would send his reply as soon as possible” on the planned deployment of a hybrid UN-African Union force for Darfur. In the meantime, Mr. Ban stressed the importance of helping the people of the region, where some 4 million civilians rely on assistance to survive.