{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade.

Page 1

Caught in the Middle

CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE Gender Inequality and Rampant SGBV in Wau, South Sudan November 2019

1


2

Caught in the Middle

Cover artwork by David Kigozi Design & Print by Revolve Tack Ltd

SIHA Network First published in November 2019 All rights reserved. Materials may be freely disseminated and used for educational, activist and non-profit purposes, with due acknowledgment of the source. Otherwise, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) Network


Caught in the Middle

CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE

Gender Inequality and Rampant SGBV in Wau, South Sudan 1 November 2019

Women and girls living in South Sudan’s Wau Town, situated in the former Western Bahr el Ghazal state have experienced severe sexual violence, exploitation, abuse and harassment in the present-day conflict. In addition to ethnically targeted rape and other crimes of sexual violence, women and girls have suffered from various gendered inequalities originating well before the cyclical outbreaks of war and produced by social norms and practices that promote discrimination and subordination

1

The information used in this report was collected and compiled by long-time SIHA Network affiliated researcher, Alicia Luedke in collaboration with SIHA Network staff - Hala Alkarib, Kimberley Armstrong, Nilofar Kayhan and Faith James in late 2018 and early 2019

3


4

Caught in the Middle

Table of Contents Executive Summary......................................................................5 Introduction.................................................................................8 Methodology..............................................................................11 Context......................................................................................13 Wau...........................................................................................16 Gendered Roles, Sexual Violence and Transformation................20 Bride-Wealth..........................................................................20 Burden of Responsibility........................................................23 SGBV Against Women and Girls...........................................25 SGBV Against Men and Boys.................................................27 SGBV in the Secondary School Setting..................................28 Gender Relations and Youth in Volatile State.............................32 Case Study Vignette: Female and Male Youth Gangs..............33 Key Observations.......................................................................39 Recommendations..................................................................41 References..................................................................................44


Caught in the Middle

5

Executive Summary In recent years, South Sudan has gained an unfavorable reputation for the frequent violations and abuse that are committed against women and girls. Much of this reputation has been gained through reports on sexual violence used as a weapon of war during the civil conflict that has racked the country on and off since shortly after its secession from Sudan in 2011. However, it is not only conflict-related sexual violence that has negatively impacted on the well-being of South Sudanese women and girls; multiple forms of violence exist and this violence has intensified in recent years due to a number of conflict and socio-economic factors. Through qualitative research that was undertaken in Wau Town at the end of 2018 and early 2019, this paper seeks to examine the dynamics of violence experienced by women and girls, to understand the root causes, and to provide policy recommendations on how this can be addressed. The key observations from this paper demonstrate that in addition to ongoing sexual violence, bride-wealth based marriage practices, transactional sex, and disproportionate burdens to provide financial and care work for the family, significantly undermine the freedom and safety of women and youth in Wau. The results also demonstrate that addressing this violence will require concerted efforts to transform the deep-seated patriarchal customs and practices that have shaped the particular response to conflict and poverty in the country. The consequences of years of conflict and underdevelopment in South Sudan have been immense. With the collapse of the economy and acute food shortages, families and individuals must often resort to extreme measures to meet basic needs. Though the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCISS) in September 2018 has brought relative calm, acts of violence continue to be a mainstay of life in South Sudan as competition for resources, crime, and localized conflict have yet to be addressed. Moreover, this climate of insecurity and economic crisis has only served to reinforce or exacerbate certain practices and behaviors that devalue women and youth. The lack of livelihood opportunities and food shortages have lead to an increase in the commodification of women’s bodies, particularly via the practices of bride wealth and survival sex. Moreover, women and youth are particularly


6

Caught in the Middle

targeted with sexual violence by armed groups and men who may seek to deal with their own form of victimization as a result of the economy and the conflict through SGBV. As a signatory to relevant international human rights instruments and having instituted gender progressive policies within the South Sudan governmental framework, the South Sudanese government can and should be held accountable to the youth and women it represents. The government must establish concrete measures for policy implementation in coordination with civil society actors, with investment in social and welfare programs to complement existing civil society structures. Women must be integrated into key ministries beyond the stereotypical institutions. There needs to be a significant increase in the number of women in teaching positions and girls in schools. A sustainable program for sensitizing and educating officials and strategic points of contact from many different sectors (most importantly education and law enforcement) to compassionately and competently handle SGBV reporting and referrals must be implemented. The international community needs to develop all humanitarian and development programming through a gender sensitive lens and ensure that local groups are thoroughly engaged in order to effectively understand and target relevant responses to evolving social dynamics (e.g. youth social dynamics). However, this must be done without compromising the work of CSOs and activists who have direct knowledge and experience of the dynamics of gender inequality in South Sudan. As such, redirecting resources to support national civil society-led responses is fundamental to reducing risks for potential harm to the situation of women and girls and for raising increasing vulnerabilities by way of intervention, for instance food aid at specific distribution points. Most importantly, challenging the beliefs, norms, and practices that justify or normalize domestic and sexual violence and dehumanizing stereotypes regarding women and youth needs to become a priority agenda for the government of South Sudan, and any other actor who wishes to contribute to improving the status and lived experience of women in South Sudan. Communities within the country need to be supported to establish a strengthened civil society that will lead in the transformation


Caught in the Middle

7

of the country into a nation state that can address and contribute to peace transformation processes .The current patterns of international aid and limiting role of civil society into subcontracting is rather problematic and disempowering for civil society. South Sudan civil society must be held accountable as a partner in the country’s transformation and be supported to take the front role in challenging the country’s complex security and development issues, such as SGBV.


8

Caught in the Middle

Introduction In its short history as a nation, South Sudan has been consumed by civil war, regional political tensions, and a failure to successfully establish or sustain nation-building projects. This situation has engendered the emergence of new, and in some instances, old hurdles to women’s advancement. On the one hand, the failure of the nation-building process has led to the rise of new, more militarized and securitized forms of public authority that seek to exert power through the control of violence. On the other hand, notwithstanding the dramatic shift of responsibilities experienced by women who have become the sole breadwinners for their families and communities across the Horn, women have not benefited from any significant changes to their position in society, instead they often face exacerbated forms of patriarchal dominance such as increases in domestic violence, sexual assault, rape and early and forced marriage. Women, and other marginalized groups, such as youth, end up caught in the middle, trapped between multiple pressures associated with war and its attendant effects on resource access and militarization, as well as the intensification of customary– oftentimes highly conservative and patriarchal practices. South Sudan gained independence on July 9th, 2011 offering hope that there would be an end to the mistreatment that South Sudanese people had experienced through decades of war and underdevelopment and potentially providing women with an opportunity to carve out a space for their empowerment and progress.1 Between the years 2015 and 2018, South Sudan undertook several progressive measures, including signing and ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW),the African Protocol on the Rights of Women, and the Convention on the Rights of a Child (CRC). South Sudan has also established a Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare and a quota system enabling women’s participation in legislative bodies of up to 30% has been enacted. Nevertheless, any optimism was shortlived. Despite institutionalization of the rights of women and girls in law and policy frameworks, after the country seceded from the Khartoum government in the north, there has been little substantive change in the 1

See, Ali, Nada Mustafa. (2011). Gender and State Building in South Sudan. USIP Special Report No. 298.


Caught in the Middle

9

actual position of South Sudanese women, who continue to be subjected to discrimination and violence, and consistently denied access to decisions that affect their lives. The outbreak of a new cycle of civil war in South Sudan on December 15th, 2013 has only exacerbated the situation, as women and girls became the direct target of widespread sexual violence by actors competing in an increasingly volatile political marketplace where everything, including women’s bodies, can be commoditized. While the latest iteration of conflict in South Sudan has seen a shift in the role of women providing for their families and communities in new and extreme ways, for the most part, violence and exclusion directed at them has grown, deteriorating any hope of civil advancement that independence may have once provided. Today, South Sudanese women and girls are vulnerable to various forms of victimization and abuse, including the violent reinforcement of discriminatory gender norms both on and off the battlefield as individuals and communities seek to combat the rapidly shifting social order in South Sudanese society. Given the continued precarious position of women in South Sudan, and the need to aggressively promote structural and normative changes to improve women’s status and decision-making, SIHA Network has commissioned this policy paper which seeks to detail the context within which women and youth are struggling to survive and provide recommendations on how to improve it. The study relies on primary research undertaken in Wau Town of former Bahr el Ghazal state where SIHA has been operating for more than a decade-and-a-half. Research was conducted in November 2018 and February 2019; and included focus group discussions and interviews held with women, youth, teachers, religious and traditional leaders and a number of government officials and service providers. Extracting from SIHA’s deep rooted understanding of regional gender issues and extensive experience working to eradicate SGBV, this policy paper explores the dynamics of gender, violence and change in Wau Town. The paper demonstrates how these changes have led to the violent entrenchment of women’s subordinate position in South Sudanese society. It explores the myriad ways in which


10

Caught in the Middle

conflict, food insecurity and economic decline have impacted gender and social relations, drawing out the root causes of violence against women and girls, in Wau Town. In conclusion, the paper makes inescapably clear the importance of understanding the dynamic complexity of women and girls’ subordination so that remedial measures are aimed at the root causes and not isolated issues in order to achieve systemic and fundamental change.


Caught in the Middle

11

Methodology The information employed for this policy paper was collected during a baseline assessment for and by SIHA in Wau Town between the end of November and start of December 2018. The assessment looked at the high prevalence of sexual violence against teenage girls and root causes behind the rampant sexual violence. It also examined the available response and prevention mechanisms, utilizing tools, including key informant interviews (KIIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs), as well as a review of secondary sources and documentary evidence acquired over the course of time that the researcher visited Wau Town. Assessment areas encompassed questions that were meant to probe people’s broader understandings of SGBV, why it occurs, its consequences and other factors connected to the enactment of such violence, namely against women and girls, but also against men and boys. This policy paper is based on questions that also touched upon existing gendered norms and practices, including the role of women and girls in household and community-level decision-making, in addition to information collected during the course of the assessment. Follow-up research was conducted in mid-February 2019 and focused on trying to secure a more detailed picture of how local interpretations of gender and SGBV have evolved, particularly amongst non-state forms of public authority, such as customary chiefs, spiritual leaders and youth gangs.2 The first assessment in November and December involved a total of 9 KIIs and 14 FGDs with 112 participants across Wau Town, including in the Wau POC site on the base of UNMISS. Exactly 86 of those interviewed were youth and adolescents from secondary schools in the area. The follow-up research was comprised of 15 KIIs and 4 FGDs with 43 participants. Target groups included customary chiefs, spiritual leaders, civil society activists, youth, adolescents, women’s leaders and gang members. 2

The research conducted with gang members and other actors in mid-February 2019 by Alicia Luedke was assisted by a grant from the Conflict Research Programme managed by the Understanding Violent Conflict Program at the Social Science Research Council, in partnership with the London School of Economics and Political Science, and with funding from the UK Department for International Development. However, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.


12

Caught in the Middle

The research, being qualitative in nature, aimed to gather highly contextualized information on the dynamics and drivers of continued violence, especially SGBV in Wau Town, and people’s attitudes and behaviors with respect to gendered norms and practices. Akin to other work carried out in South Sudan and SIHA Network’s research acumen with in-depth documentation of experiences of marginalization and deprivation, the two successive assessments emphasized people’s subjective perceptions and interpretations of violence and gender in its local context. The assessment utilized a feminist lens with a view towards both capturing the lived experiences of research participants, as well as exposing underlying structures of power and domination in South Sudanese society.3 Likewise, research placed the voices of the participants, including those both impacted and implicated in violence, at the front and center of the assessment and follow up research that occurred.4

3

See, Huser, Catherine. (2018). Conflict and gender study-South Sudan: Addressing root causes programme. ACORD.

4

See, Plan International. (2018). Adolescent girls in crisis: Voices from South Sudan.


Caught in the Middle

13

Context South Sudan became the world’s newest state on July 9th, 2011, marking what many had hoped would be a permanent end to the violence that had plagued the south during a decades long struggle against the Khartoum government in the north of Sudan. Once again, however, any optimism was short-lived. Years of conflict led to severe underdevelopment and South Sudanese leaders were unable to deliver on the dividends that peace and independence had initially promised to provide. Just two years after separating from the north on December 15th, 2013, the country slid back into a brutal civil war as a result of political tensions in the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), specifically between President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka and former Vice-President turned rebel leader, Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer who quickly formed the SPLM/A-In Opposition (IO). Within hours of the conflict erupting, South Sudanese citizens were being deliberately targeted on the basis of their ethnicity forced to presume political allegiances as tensions and grievances from past periods of intra-South fighting came to the fore. In reality, the root causes of the civil war are complex, ranging from fears of ethnic marginalization, long-standing disputes over land, and a desire to maintain control over the country’s resources – all of which have resulted in violent competition between warring parties over the past decades.5 A number of the issues witnessed today, have their foundations in the second Sudanese civil war between 1983 and 2005, wherein the south, under the then liberation movement, Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) were locked in a violent struggle with the north. President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, were on separate sides of the divide within the SPLA at the time with both leaders drawing on and manipulating ethnic ties in order to mobilize support with the average southerner caught in a vicious cycle of intra-South violence, which served to inflame and reify tensions between ethnic groups. Unaddressed, the 5

See Vuylsteke, Sarah. (2018). Identity and self-determination: The Fertit opposition in South Sudan. HSBA-Small Arms Survey Briefing Paper. Retrieved from: http://www.smallarmssurveysudan.org/fileadmin/docs/briefing-papers/ HSBA-BP-Fertit.pdf; De Waal, Alex. (2014). When Kleptocracy becomes insolvement: Brute causes of the civil war in South Sudan. African Affairs 113/452, 357-369.


14

Caught in the Middle

violence and atrocity experienced by South Sudanese citizens during the second Sudanese civil war has fueled ethnic animosities, supplying the basis for continued conflict and insecurity. Similar to other countries in the African Horn and in keeping with Sudan and South Sudan’s long-history of broken promises, the conflict has been characterized by serial breaches of commitments to bring an end to the suffering that South Sudanese citizens have endured as a consequence of the war. Even though a peace agreement was signed in August 2015, the Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS), fighting persisted in many parts of the country, expanding to previously peaceful areas, including Wau. Although there was some impression that the return of Riek Machar to the capital city, Juba, as part of the implementation of the agreement in April 2016 would see an end to the war, this idea was quickly dashed as clashes erupted in Juba between the SPLM/A and the SPLM/A-IO, signaling the collapse of ARCSS. Efforts to revive the 2015 agreement have not been met with much success either and even in the face of another peace agreement signed in September 2018, known as the Revitalized-ARCSS (R-ARCSS), sustained peace is still uncertain and localized conflict around land and other issues has increased, including in the areas around Wau.6 Consequences of the years of conflict have been immense. People have fled clashes in large numbers, leading to a displacement crisis of epic proportions, producing the largest mass exodus of people on the African continent since the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. The conflict has had an exceedingly devastating effect on peoples’ lives, livelihoods and education, disrupting their education and their very means of survival. Furthermore, an estimated 380,000 people are thought to have died as a result of the war.7 As is often the case across conflicts in the Horn of Africa, women have borne the brunt of the effects of the conflict where women’s bodies

6

UN. (2019). Report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. A/ HRC/40.CRP.1. 20 February 2019.

7

Specia, Megan. (2018). 383,000: Estimated Death Toll in South Sudan’s War. New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/26/world/africa/ south-sudan-civil-war-deaths.html.


Caught in the Middle

15

have been treated as ‘spoils of war’ to be taken in the course of fighting.8 This is unfortunately nothing new to South Sudan where women’s bodies have been used to prevent fractionalization9 and encourage participation in violence.10 The ramification, however, is that tens of thousands of women and girls have suffered from various forms of sexualized and gendered violence at the hands of warring parties, including rape, gang rape, abduction, sexual slavery, sexual torture and sexual mutilation.11 The collapse of South Sudan’s economy and food shortages produced by over five years of conflict has both compounded the vulnerability of women and girls who even outside of the conflict are subjected to violence and discrimination. The deliberate obstruction of humanitarian assistance, the blockade of free movement and ongoing insecurity, which has prevented families from meeting their basic needs have all combined to give rise to food insecurity with famine declared in pockets of the country in February 2017.12 The upshot has been a further loss of control for women and girls, whose sexual agency and physical security continue to be undermined by their lack of access to basic livelihoods.13 Women leaving settlements 8

Luedke, Alicia and Logan, Hannah. (2018). ‘That thing of human rights’: Discourse, emergency assistance, and sexual violence in South Sudan’s civil war. Disasters: S99-S118.

9

Pinaud, Clemence. (2014). South Sudan: Civil war, predation and the making of military aristocracy. African Affairs 113.451: 192-211.

10 UN. (2019). Report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. A/ HRC/40.CRP.1. 20 February 2019.; Luedke, Alicia. (2019). The commodification of women and girls in South Sudan: Increased risks and continued violence. LSE Blogs. Retrieved from: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/crp/2019/04/04/thecommodification-of-women-and-girls-in-south-sudan-increased-risks-andcontinued-violence/. 11 Amnesty International. (2017). Do not remain silent: Survivors of sexual violence in South Sudan call for justice and reparations. Index Number: AFR 65/6469/2017. Retrieved from: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/afr65/6469/2017/en/. 12 ACTED. Famine in South Sudan: Understanding food insecurity in Unity State. South Sudan | Uncategorized. Retrieved from: https://www.acted.org/en/faminein-south-sudan-understanding-food-insecurity-in-unity-state/. 13 Luedke, Alicia. (2019). The commodification of women and girls in South Sudan: Increased risks and continued violence. LSE Blogs. Retrieved from: https://blogs. lse.ac.uk/crp/2019/04/04/the-commodification-of-women-and-girls-in-southsudan-increased-risks-and-continued-violence/.


16

Caught in the Middle

for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in search of food and firewood, for example, have been raped and gang raped by armed men who take advantage of their desperation to attack them.14 Although patrilocal, bridewealth-based marriages have long incentivized early and forced marriages in South Sudan, families and communities have also become increasingly reliant on the income accrued from their daughters in order to make ends meet. Lack of access to resources has, furthermore, provided the impetus for different forms of sexual violence, exploitation and abuse (SEA) as women enter into survival sex, reinforcing societal views that women’s bodies can be utilized for transactional purposes.15

Wau

In the initial years of the war, Wau Town had experienced relative peace and stability. Wau town is ethnically mixed, comprised primarily of the Fertit, Dinka and Luo ethnic groups. Strong trade ties with Khartoum16 has meant that Wau has become one of the larger and more developed of the South Sudan’s cities, now second only to the capital city, Juba. While diverse, the town has also been marred by divisions, chiefly between the Fertit and the Dinka who have a history of conflict dating back to the second Sudanese civil war when Fertit communities were targeted by the SPLA in retaliation for their non-participation in the struggle.17 According to a recent Small Arms Survey (SAS) report, attacks on the Fertit by Dinka communities were viewed by the Fertit to have been the ramification of land and resource disputes and the desire by the Dinka to subjugate the 14 UNMISS. (2019). Conflict-related sexual violence in northern Unity SeptemberDecember 2018. 15 See, Luedke, Alicia. (2019). The commodification of women and girls in South Sudan: Increased risks and continued violence. LSE Blogs. Retrieved from: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/crp/2019/04/04/the-commodification-of-women-and-girlsin-south-sudan-increased-risks-and-continued-violence/. 16 Vuylsteke, Sarah. (2018). Identity and self-determination: The Fertit opposition in South Sudan. HSBA-Small Arms Survey Briefing Paper. Retrieved from: http:// www.smallarmssurveysudan.org/fileadmin/docs/briefing-papers/HSBA-BP-Fertit. pdf. 17 UN. (2018). Report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. A/ HRC/37/CRP.2. 23 February 2018; Vuylsteke, Sarah. (2018). Identity and selfdetermination: The Fertit opposition in South Sudan. HSBA-Small Arms Survey Briefing Paper. Retrieved from: http://www.smallarmssurveysudan.org/fileadmin/ docs/briefing-papers/HSBA-BP-Fertit.pdf.


Caught in the Middle

17

Fertit, including through the apparent marriage of Fertit women to Dinka men.18 This was reinforced first, when, in 2012, the then Governor of Western Bahr-el Ghazal tried to change the county capital from Wau Town to Baggari, which was seen to be a bid to give land and resources to the Dinka. And second, through the creation of twenty-eight states by Presidential Order in October 2015, which carved up the state.19 Not surprisingly, in the area known as the “Wau Triangle� in the south and west of the Town, there were clashes between the government and opposition in 2015, followed by large-scale forced recruitment.20 Government soldiers and allied Dinka militias operating under the banner of the Mathiang Anyoor were deployed to Wau.21 Human rights investigators pointed to the emergence of a pattern of retaliatory violence by the SPLM/A against Fertit villages, apparently on account of losses that they had encountered on the battlefield, which led to targeted killing, rape, forced displacement and destruction in Wau Town and other surrounding areas.22 In June 2016 and again in April 2017, the city had witnessed ethnically targeted violence, including rape and gang rape.23 The National Security Services (NSS) were deployed to Wau shortly after to restore order,24 however, this also corresponded to a prolonged and arbitrary 18 Vuylsteke, Sarah. (2018). Identity and self-determination: The Fertit opposition in South Sudan. HSBA-Small Arms Survey Briefing Paper. Retrieved from: http:// www.smallarmssurveysudan.org/fileadmin/docs/briefing-papers/HSBA-BP-Fertit. pdf. 19 UN. (2018). Report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. A/ HRC/37/CRP.2. 23 February 2018. 20 UN. (2018). Report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. A/ HRC/37/CRP.2. 23 February 2018. 21 UN. (2018). Report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. A/ HRC/37/CRP.2. 23 February 2018. 22 UN. (2018). Report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. A/ HRC/37/CRP.2. 23 February 2018. 23 Vuylsteke, Sarah. (2018). Identity and self-determination: The Fertit opposition in South Sudan. HSBA-Small Arms Survey Briefing Paper. Retrieved from: http:// www.smallarmssurveysudan.org/fileadmin/docs/briefing-papers/HSBA-BP-Fertit. pdf. 24 See, Human Rights Watch. (2018). South Sudan: Soldiers Attack Civilians in Western Region. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved from: https://www.hrw.org/ news/2018/10/24/south-sudan-soldiers-attack-civilians-western-region; Human


18

Caught in the Middle

detentions and the more general securitization of Wau Town under the NSS – a larger trend in South Sudan where the NSS have monopolized on the inability of other formal security actors to provide stability. Despite the signing of a new peace deal in September 2018, fighting continued throughout 2018 in areas just outside of Wau as the government began an offensive to drive out the opposition.25 The effects of the spread of conflict in and around Wau Town have been profound. Tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced, including to the Protection of Civilian adjacent area (POC AA) on the base of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). In addition to the extensive sexualized and gendered targeting of women and girls, and in some instances men and boys, by warring parties, there have also been severe food shortages due to mass displacement, the inability to cultivate on account of insecurity and the blocking of roads supplying the town and preventing free trade and movement of goods.26 The result has been skyrocketing prices in terms of cost of living, especially for food stuffs in Wau,27 forcing many families to engage in riskier and riskier coping mechanisms, including early and forced marriages. Many women and girls, as mentioned in the above section, have entered into survival sex merely as a way to help themselves and their children meet their basic needs. Conflict and displacement within Wau Town have also led to the dislocation of families and communities, massively disrupting the social fabric and undermining local mechanisms of support and protection.28 Rights Watch. (2017). South Sudan: New Spate of Ethnic Killings. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved from: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/04/14/south-sudan-newspate-ethnic-killings. 25 Human Rights Watch. (2018). South Sudan: Soldiers Attack Civilians in Western Region. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved from: https://www.hrw.org/ news/2018/10/24/south-sudan-soldiers-attack-civilians-western-region. 26 Oxfam. (2016). South Sudan Gender Analysis: A snapshot situation analysis of the differential impact of the humanitarian crisis on women, girls, men and boys in South Sudan-March-July 2016. 27 Oxfam. (2016). South Sudan Gender Analysis: A snapshot situation analysis of the differential impact of the humanitarian crisis on women, girls, men and boys in South Sudan-March-July 2016. 28 DRC. (2017). Congestion in the Malakal Protection of Civilian (POC) Site, South Sudan.


Caught in the Middle

19

Traditional forms of moral authority that have been eroded and, in large measure, superseded by militarized actors,29 including the state security forces and non-state criminal groups, such as gangs. The inability to provide for and protect their families in the face of economic collapse and violent threat has also led to a loss of identity amongst males who are no longer able to live up to idealized norms of masculinity, leading to acts of violence, including SGBV as a means for expressing their authority.30

29 See, Huser, Catherine. (2018). Conflict and gender study-South Sudan: Addressing root causes programme. ACORD. 30 Birchall, Jenny. (2019). Gender as a causal factor in conflict. K4D Knowledge, evidence and learning for development Helpdesk report.


20

Caught in the Middle

Gendered Roles, Sexual Violence and Transformation Bride-Wealth

As SIHA Network has made clear in past research, marital practices in South Sudan are the backdrop against which much of the subordination of women and girls can be understood.31Even with the recent history of violence and collapse of the newly formed fragile state, customary marriage patterns have remained more or less fixed. Residence is still patrilocal with women marrying outside of their natal clan and residing in the homes of their husband’s families.32 Marriage is communal, binding families and kinship groups into concrete networks and lineages, which, although critical to the survival of South Sudanese families, allows parents to exert pressure on a woman’s choice of partner and circumscribe the ability of women to leave abusive relationships.33What’s more, women are valued almost entirely in relation to their roles as wives and child-bearers and are anticipated to be subservient,34 concentrating on the maintenance of male lineage lines. Accordingly, women often are only supposed to marry once and, in the instance that her husband dies, levirate marriage practices dictate that she is offered to one of her husband’s family members, preferably a brother.35. 31 SIHA Network. (2012). Falling Through the Cracks: Reflections on Customary Law and the Imprisonment of Women in South Sudan. 32 See, Jok, Jok Madut. (1999). Militarism, Gender and Reproductive Suffering: The Case of Abortion in Western Dinka. Journal of the International African Institute 69(2): 194-212. 33 See, Deng, David. Challenges of Accountability: An Assessment of Dispute Resolution Process in Rural South Sudan. South Sudan Law Society, Pact, USAID, 2013. Retrieved from: https://www.pactworld.org/challenges%20of%20 accountability. 34 See, Deng, David. Challenges of Accountability: An Assessment of Dispute Resolution Process in Rural South Sudan. South Sudan Law Society, Pact, USAID, 2013. Retrieved from: https://www.pactworld.org/challenges%20of%20 accountability. 35 See, Jok, Jok Madut. (1999). Militarism, Gender and Reproductive Suffering: The Case of Abortion in Western Dinka. Journal of the International African Institute 69(2): 194-212.


Caught in the Middle

21

Paired with bride-wealth practices, when a husband’s family pays livestock or other resources in return for a woman’s hand in marriage, men and their families end up gaining nearly complete control of women’s bodies, specifically their reproductive and productive capabilities, which become tied to him and his family. This denies women the chance to turn down the oftentimes excessive sexual and domestic demands of their husbands who effectively ‘own’ their wives, culminating in the commodification of female bodies and identities. As a group of customary chiefs interviewed during the assessment in Wau Town described, “[It] is like business, or commercial. When I married a woman, I paid and then I raised this girl and fed her and now I sell her because you need something to come out of her, like a profit.”36 The valuation of women and girls in terms of their potential to call forth income for their families through bride-wealth leads to a variety of so-called “knock on effects” where paying for women ends up justifying their mistreatment and abuse.37 It also entitles men to the sexual services of women. As past anthropological work in South Sudan has shown, women’s resistance to the sexual demands of their husband, or “refusing the hut” is not taken seriously, understood to be indicative of a women’s desire to appear reserved,38 contributing to societal perceptions where sexual violence is not a significant violation. One research participant makes this point quite poignantly, “Others think that rape is not a crime….particularly men…they think that women are there for only sex and they can do anything they want.”39‘Do anything they want’ also refers to domestic and intimate partner violence where the payment of bride price acts as a justification for the mistreatment of women in their households. As SIHA Network has shown in their past work on South Sudan, this has created a situation where intimate partner violence (IPV) “can be viewed as an exercise of prerogative rather than an offence.”40 36 FGD, Chiefs, Wau Town, December 3, 2018. 37 Huser, Catherine. (2018). Conflict and gender study-South Sudan: Addressing root causes programme. ACORD; SIHA Network. (2012). Falling Through the Cracks: Reflections on Customary Law and the Imprisonment of Women in South Sudan. 38 Jok, Jok Madut. (1999). Militarism, Gender and Reproductive Suffering: The Case of Abortion in Western Dinka. Journal of the International African Institute 69(2): p. 209. 39 KII, Wau Town, December 1, 2018. 40 SIHA Network. (2012). Falling Through the Cracks: Reflections on Customary


22

Caught in the Middle

There are other “knock-on effects” produced by patrilocal, bridewealth based marriage practices, as well.41 Many families fear sending their daughters to school because they may become pregnant or abandon their traditional roles as wives and child bearers.42 This is rooted mainly in people’s apprehension about the loss of bride wealth due to the devaluation of girls who would invariably be viewed as ‘spoiled.’43As the group of chiefs cited in a preceding paragraph, plainly, girls are an investment and it is only worth sending them to school insofar as families will eventually get their ‘return on investment’ through bride-wealth. As a group of female adolescents explained,“…that dowry…pay[s] for the milk for the breastfeeding and the school fees for all those years.”44 Accordingly, many girls drop out as early as primary school so that they can theoretically marry someone who will take on the burden of paying their school fees. This rarely happens, however, as girls take up the duty of care for their new family and completion of school is no longer the priority. Because females leave their natal kin to take care of their marital kin once married, and males remain with their natal family to care for their own parents, men are perceived as being worthier of support, engendering a superiority dynamic throughout the family complex. It manifests itself in all aspects of life and is fortified through the militarization of masculine identities indoctrinated over years of war. A group of chiefs denote, “[W] e see boys as the head, he will remain [with] the family so there is no need to sell him since he will inherit everything in the family. Your son will get your property. A girl will not…”45 Furthermore, with the collapse of the South Sudanese economy, parents are increasingly reliant on the Law and the Imprisonment of Women in South Sudan, p. 36. 41 See, Huser, Catherine. (2018). Conflict and gender study-South Sudan: Addressing root causes programme. ACORD. 42 See, Osman, Amira Awad. (2011). Caught between war and its aftermath: The experience of internally displaced women in Sudan. In The Role of Women in Promoting Peace and Development, Proceedings of the 10th Annual Conference on the Horn of Africa, Lund, Sweden, September 23-24 2011. 43 Luedke, Alicia and Logan, Hannah. (2018). ‘That thing of human rights’: Discourse, emergency assistance, and sexual violence in South Sudan’s civil war. Disasters: S99-S118. 44 FGD, Female Adolescents, Wau Town, November 30, 2018. 45 FGD, Chiefs, Wau Town, December 3, 2018.


Caught in the Middle

23

income accrued from their daughters’ bride-wealth, who are being sold off as young as twelve in some cases.46 These practices are widespread, in spite of the institutionalization of women’s rights in law and policy within South Sudan,47 including the need to “combat harmful customs and traditions which undermine the dignity and status of women.”48 The government has committed itself to promote women’s participation, a commitment that has been repeated in the September 2018 R-ARCSS (Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan), which envisages a 35% quota for women in the transitional government.49 Regardless of the promises for women’s advancement, there has been little change in the empowerment of female populations in South Sudan as the political and economic realities and deeply engrained social norms remain the guiding factors of gender relations and women’s status. The nascent legal framework has yet to be fully implemented or bear significant influence in the day-to-day experience of women’s lives.

Burden of Responsibility

A lack of advancement in the empowerment of women and girls is even true when evaluating role changes triggered by the conflict. In the face of pervasive insecurity, women have become almost entirely responsible for providing for the household with men rendered idle by displacement and economic decline. While this has supplied the opportunity for economic independence for women and girls, in reality, the need to maintain food security for their families has caused females to engage in risky coping mechanisms as a way to survive, tying their agency and physical security 46 Cited in, UN. (2019). Report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. A/HRC/40.CRP.1. 20 February 2019. 47 UN. (2019). Report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. A/ HRC/40.CRP.1. 20 February 2019. 48 Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan as amended by the Transition Constitution of South Sudan, 2011 (Amendment) Act, 2013, Article 16 (4)(b), cited in, UN. (2019). Report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. A/HRC/40.CRP.1. 20 February 2019. 49 R-ARCSS, Articles 1.4.4 and 5.1.1., cited in, UN. (2019). Report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. A/HRC/40.CRP.1. 20 February 2019.


24

Caught in the Middle

to their ability to meet their husband’s, children’s and own basic needs, which has been considerably undermined by severe food insecurity.50 Women, themselves, were cognizant that the change was the result of “the economic situation and the conflict,” which has “forced us to work and be equal with men” while at the same time admitting that there was still “no improvement up to now”51 in terms of the overall status of women in South Sudan. The burden of responsibility undermines female agency in other ways. As previously mentioned, research participants in Wau spoke about the rising number of women and girls entering into survival sex as a way to sustain themselves and their families. A group of female adolescents explain how, “Sometimes you can be forced…to have sex with many so you can have something so you can just survive…there are some people who come and say I will give you money and we can have sex and I can pay you…when a woman goes and works for a job to survive and she is not educated…there is no other choice so she will sleep with the guy so she can get money for her children.”52 Often for women, the males in their families have abandoned responsibility and their authority over the household.53 As a group of women living in the Wau POC site expressed, “always the burden is on women in South Sudan because men don’t care what you have eaten and if the child is hungry… [women] have a lot of responsibility on their head and that’s why men are not taking the responsibility.”54 The economic situation has very much deteriorated in South Sudan with a third cycle of civil conflict erupting. Many men who had held salaried jobs or been engaged in other kinds of semi-permanent work have lost their incomes. However, violence and displacement since the start of the conflict have further destroyed livelihoods and people become more dependent on outside assistance. A strong sense of loss and helplessness is characteristic among South Sudanese 50 See, DRC. (2017). Congestion in the Malakal Protection of Civilian (POC) Site, South Sudan. 51 FGD, Women, Wau POC, February 13, 2019. 52 FGD, Female Adolescents, Wau Town, November 30, 2018. 53 Huser, Catherine. (2018). Conflict and gender study-South Sudan: Addressing root causes programme. ACORD. 54 FGD, Women, Wau POC, February 13, 2019.


Caught in the Middle

25

men and has apparently been quite severe in Wau.55 A male participant exclaimed, “I have no access for freedom to go out and look for things…now I am forced in one place…I could not have access to move outside. I am fearing because…people who are in the bush [opposition/SPLM/A-IO] and people in town [government/SPLM/A] haven’t come together.”56

SGBV Against Women and Girls

Even if conflict-related sexual violence does not occur in a vacuum,57 there are clear ways in which the war and generalized sense of crisis in South Sudan have heightened women and girl’s vulnerability in and around Wau Town. While more overt acts of sexual violence at the hands of warring parties, specifically the SSPDF (formerly SPLA) were viewed to be less common than during past episodes of conflict in Wau town, for instance, in 2016 and 2017, the risks still exist. IDP women and girls, mostly in the POC, but also in the collective sites, still face the chance of rape and abduction when leaving sites to collect food and firewood and other items necessary for their survival. Some participants also referenced this same risk when traveling long distances from their homes, or from IDP settlements, including the POC, to secondary schools when they have to leave early in the morning. Female secondary students also mentioned that government forces were continuing to go door-to-door, searching for women and girls in the late hours of the night. The safety issues were high enough that whether inside IDP settlements, or in town, most women and girls articulated that they did not feel secure to be out past daylight hours. There are other ways that the war has enhanced women and girl’s vulnerability. Economic decline and severe food insecurity have made it hard for many people to meet their basic needs, even in a relatively developed urban center, such as Wau, causing people to engage in precarious coping mechanisms, or enter into potentially unsafe forms of informal labor. This has opened up women, girls, men and boys to various 55 See, DRC. (2017). Congestion in the Malakal Protection of Civilian (POC) Site, South Sudan. 56 FGD, Male Adolescents, Wau, December 5, 2018. 57 See, CARE. (2014). The girl has no rights: Gender-Based Violence in South Sudan. CARE International. Also see ,Justice Africa. (2017a). Voices of south Sudanese women: South Sudanese women meet to prepare for peace conference. Retrieved from: http://justiceafrica.org/voices-of-women-in-the-payams-of-juba/.


26

Caught in the Middle

forms of SEA with female informal laborers, such as those working at tea stands, or domestic workers and IDPs most vulnerable to this kind of violence. Young adolescent and youth females were referenced to engage in survival sex as a way to support their families, or to pay for their school fees, going to “lodges” around Wau Town, particularly in Dharaja neighborhood where there is a high concentration of hotels and services available to the NGO community. As other research in South Sudan has highlighted, this kind of survival sex is “a more institutionalized version of mistreatment and structural violence perpetrated against individuals involved in transactional sex”58. Prostitution is technically illegal in South Sudan under the 2008 Penal Code Act, meaning that women and girls cannot rely on police for protection, allowing women and girls engaging in survival sex to be violated with impunity.59 These kinds of sexual violence, exploitation, abuse and harassment are embedded in and oftentimes augment the violence and gender inequitable norms and practices that women and girls face in their daily lives. Many of the female adolescents and youth interviewed discussed issues such as the denial of education and health care and the overall preference for males in their families and communities. Others discussed the high prevalence of forced and early marriages, which has only gotten worse with the economic crisis and acute food insecurity in South Sudan.60 In fact, amongst female students, forced and early marriages was recurrently referenced as one of the main forms of SGBV in Wau Town and one of their biggest concerns. Kidnapping and abduction for the purposes of marriage was also observed to be an almost daily occurrence. As to be expected and in keeping with trends across South Sudan where 73 percent of women have experienced IPV in their lifetime,61 those interviewed 58 Justice Africa. (2017a). Voices of south Sudanese women: South Sudanese women meet to prepare for peace conference. P, 22. Retrieved from: http:// justiceafrica.org/voices-of-women-in-the-payams-of-juba/. 59 Bubenzer, Friederike and Orly Stern. Hope, Pain & Patience: The Lives of Women in South Sudan. Jacana Media, 2011. 60 Plan International. (2018). Adolescent girls in crisis: Voices from South Sudan. 61 What Works. (2017). No Safe Place: A lifetime of violence for conflict-affected women and girls in South Sudan. What Works To Prevent Violence, The Global Women’s Institute, George Washington University, International Rescue Committee, Care, UK Aid.


Caught in the Middle

27

also remarked on the high prevalence of other more ‘everyday’ forms of violence, including domestic violence.

SGBV Against Men and Boys

While most participants in the group discussions interpreted and understood SGBV as something that impacted primarily women and girls, when asked about types of violence that specifically targeted men and boys, those interviewed also talked about various forms of gendered violence against males, including forced recruitment, arbitrary detention, targeted killings and rape. In the same way that women and girls were said to involve themselves in survival sex so too were males. Older women were said to exploit adolescent and youth males to have sex with them in exchange for money in order for them to be able to afford school fees and other items. In addition to sexualized violence against men and boys in Wau, there was also reference made to other forms of gendered targeting. Male adolescents and youth were cognizant that because of their age and sex they were presumed by government forces to belong to or were prospective “rebels”– a fear that was especially evident amongst Fertit males interviewed for the research. This is the foreseeable result of the progressive polarization of, and competition between Dinka and Fertit communities in and around Wau, which pre-dates the current war, but has been exacerbated by political dynamics connected to the conflict. Male secondary students and youth knew that they risked arbitrary detention, mostly at the hands of the SPLA, but also at the hands of the NSS. Targeted killings of male adolescents and youth were, moreover, viewed to be an issue, though mainly during periods of intense violence in Wau Town, such as that which occurred in June 2016 and April 2017. As one male student noted, “especially during conflict, they look for the youth to shoot since they will say the boys will be the ones to become rebels”.62A male youth from the Wau POC similarly remarked on how “it happens often here – we the Fertit if you are in town, immediately they will detain you because they will say that your family are the ones who are rebels and you are coming to the town…to pick information…and to send it back”.63 62 FGD, Wau Town, November 30, 2018. 63 FGD, Wau POC, December 2, 2018.


28

Caught in the Middle

Forced recruitment into armed groups, both government and opposition, were another danger apparently faced by males with participants speaking about instances of boys who had been abducted from schools. The headmaster of one secondary school cited a case wherein a male between 21 and 22 in Senior 3 (S3) who had to travel a long distance from his household to the school was abducted along the way by armed actors who kept him for several weeks at the start of 2018. He was released, but later returned to his abductors. While other more ‘everyday’ forms of SGBV and gender inequitable practices and norms do not affect men and boys nearly as routinely as they do women and girls, denial of education was also said to have impacted males. This was the case specifically with males in rural areas who belonged to cattle keeping communities where male youth are valued almost entirely for their role in the protection of cattle camps. Forced marriage somewhat unexpectedly was also spoken about as a concern for males when the elders in their communities want them to marry so that the future wife can care for his family members, demonstrating both the expectations of care for females entering into marriages, as well as the pressures to wed for males, which can be a driver behind both cattle raiding and abduction of women and girls for the purposes of marriage.

SGBV in the Secondary School Setting

Beyond the more general trends in SGBV in and around Wau town, there were also varied forms of gendered and sexualized violence that were particular to the secondary school setting. The education sector in South Sudan has been decimated by the conflict. The country now has the highest proportion of children out of school in the world.64 At least 2.2 million children are out of school and 1/3 of schools are said to have been destroyed or occupied in the course of fighting.65 Food-shortages, teenage pregnancy, forced and early marriages and care duties for girls have led to high drop-out rates.66 There is also an absence of qualified 64 USAID. “South Sudan-Education.” Home >> Where We Work >> Africa >> South Sudan >> Education, November 14, 2018. Available at: https://www.usaid. gov/south-sudan/education. 65 Ibid. 66 South Sudan Education Cluster. Education Cluster Assessment – South Sudan.


Caught in the Middle

29

teachers, particularly female teachers, which is mostly on account of low and delayed salaries,67 although informants also discussed harassment of female teachers by male students. Again, government paid teachers make only SSP 2100 per month, which is the equivalent of around USD 10. Coupled with the escalating cost of living, teachers cannot even afford to meet their own basic needs, leading qualified teachers to look for jobs elsewhere, including with NGOs and in the humanitarian sector. The lack of female teachers has a noteworthy impact on female secondary students. Girls interviewed felt uncomfortable approaching their male teachers about the issues that impact them, such as their menstruation. As one group of female students noted, “…Like when you have a period and some of the girls it comes too much and there is pain and sometimes, she cannot stay in the class and she cannot inform the male teacher.”68 Another group of female students explain, “Some of our schools, we…don’t have female teachers and in case you have a problem as a girl, there is no one for us to approach, so you keep quiet with your problems. We don’t have even one [female teacher] here.”69 While concerns about menstruation are serious and is one of the reasons for non-attendance amongst female students, the absence of female teachers also affects the propensity of female pupils to report potential incidents of SGBV. For example, when asked where female students would go to report a case of SGBV in the secondary school setting, female students admitted that they would not report an incident to a male teacher and that there were no female teachers at their school.70 The absence of qualified, trained and professional teaching personnel at secondary schools has other effects on female students. For example, during a discussion with senior school teachers, one male teacher questioned why marrying a student would be an issue so long as brideUNICEF: 2017. Available at: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/ nation-wide_assessment_report_-_ssec_-_2017-11.pdf. 67 Ibid. 68 FGD, Wau Town, November 30, 2018. 69 FGD, Wau Town, December 5, 2018. 70 FGD, Female Students, Wau Town, November 30, 2018.


30

Caught in the Middle

wealth was paid. This illustrates that teachers are not completely aware of government policies that prohibit such conduct in schools. Importantly, community perceptions of the lack of professionalism of teachers can work to keep girls out of school as families fear that their daughters may become pregnant, decreasing the prospective bride-wealth. Underage pregnancy was, accordingly, seen to be a considerable issue forcing girls out of schools. While one secondary school expressed that they had in place measures for accommodating pregnant students, or new mothers, allowing them time to breastfeed, or having family members care for their infants on the school grounds, this seemed to be the exception rather than the rule for the secondary schools in question, and other school administrators vocally supported the idea of creating a separate school or class for pregnant students or students with children. The high pregnancy rates are also clearly linked to early and forced marriage.71 Forced and early marriages were another major anxiety for female secondary students. As one participant stated, “Here in Wau, once you have expressed your menstruation, you will be married – finished – khalas – they will look for an old man and…they will just…leave you there.”72 In addition to underage pregnancy and forced and early marriage, female secondary students also conveyed how they were ordinarily subjected to verbal and other forms of harassment that were sexual or gendered in nature by their male counterparts. At one school, male participants said girls would be slapped if they had stepped out of line. The right of boys to ‘discipline’ girls in this way is expressed in one student’s comment that, “One is…tradition – girls should not abuse the boys” “you are even to cane a girl if she is misbehaving” “we are supposed to discipline her” “girls need to maintain their characters.”73 A group of girls living in a collective site just outside of Wau Town explained how, if they had outperformed their male colleagues in school, they would be accused of having performed sexual favors for their teacher. Male students would comment, “You are nothing because you are just a girl and in the end you will just be married and you won’t do anything.”74 This was a typical concern for female students. Girls 71 Plan International. (2018). Adolescent girls in crisis: Voices from South Sudan. 72 FGD, Wau Town, December 5, 2018. 73 FGD, Wau Town, November 30, 2018. 74 FGD, Collective Site, Wau, December 5, 2018.


Caught in the Middle

31

from another secondary school correspondingly noted how, “Boys feel like they are superior in school. They use abusive words and bullying – things like ‘women should not work…”75They also talked about how, at times, male students would touch them inappropriately and when unwanted.76 It is not just inside the secondary school setting where students face various risks. As mentioned, students walking long distances from their places of residence to school are vulnerable to various forms of abuse, including forced recruitment for males and rape and other forms of sexual harassment for females. Some students have to leave for school before sunrise and while female students have developed coping mechanisms, such as walking in groups, the risk is never completely mitigated.

75 FGD, Wau Town, November 30, 2018. 76 FGD, Wau Town, November 30, 2018.


32

Caught in the Middle

Gender Relations and Youth in Volatile State When it comes to women and youth in particular, there is often a stark conflict between the individual rights and “social and economic systems based upon patrilineal structures, collective responsibilities… and payment of bride-wealth” discussed in the above section.77 Indeed, many of the same social structures that marginalize and discriminate against women, also discriminate against youth who tend to be lumped together as a category of delinquents.78 Youth, like women, fall outside of the generation of SPLM/A liberation who still dominate and control opportunities for upward mobility, while at the same time falling outside of community structures.79 This has contributed to intergenerational tensions between a younger generation who wants to establish their own, individual sense of identity and an older generation determined to hold on to traditions.80 As is the case in other parts of the African Horn, there are clear tensions between youth and women who are trying to be more expressive in a society that continues to hold onto a romanticized vision of the past and the importance of custom therein and the main benefactors of that tradition.81 What’s more, even prior to the present day war, there was said to be growing youth disgruntlement about the monopolization of the profits of war and peace by the SPLM/A and frustrations with the failure of peace and independence to deliver any tangible dividends.82 The outcome has been the decline of traditional leadership and the authority 77 Leonardi, Cherry et al. (2010). Local Justice in Southern Sudan. Peaceworks No. 66, p. 84. 78 Leonardi, Cherry et al. (2010). Local Justice in Southern Sudan. Peaceworks No. 66; Leonardi, Cherry. (2007). ‘Liberation’ or capture: Youth in between ‘hakuma’ and ‘home’ during civil war and its aftermath in Southern Sudan. African Affairs 106/424: 391-412. 79 Reeve, Richard. (2012). Peace and conflict assessment of South Sudan 2012. International Alert. 80 DRC. (2017). Congestion in the Malakal Protection of Civilian (POC) Site, South Sudan. 81 See, SIHA Network. (2015). The Other War: Gang Rape in Somaliland. 82 See, Leonardi, Cherry. (2007). ‘Liberation’ or capture: Youth in between ‘hakuma’ and ‘home’ during civil war and its aftermath in Southern Sudan. African Affairs 106/424: 391-412; Sommers, Marc and Schwartz, Stephanie. (2011). Dowry and division: Youth and state building in South Sudan. USIP Special Report No. 295.


Caught in the Middle

33

that they had held, coupled with a growing tendency for individuals and groups seeking to express themselves through violence and vigilantism.83 Participating in violence, whether in gang-related activities in urban centers or cattle raids in rural areas, can also be a way for youth to access resources that reduce their dependency on community structures, such as elders for things like marriage.84 In Wau Town, the most common expression of this form of rebellion is the youth gang. The following vignette sheds some light on how the current pressures on youth are sometimes manifesting themselves in urban communities.

Case Study Vignette: Female and Male Youth Gangs In many ways, urban crime, including crime perpetrated by gangs of youth, known locally as ‘niggas’ in South Sudan is a manifestation of the stark conflicts that have emerged between liberalism and modernism on the one hand, and custom and tradition on the other. Their formation, as past reports highlight, can be understood as part of the social shifts that are happening in the context of the failed state and nation-building projects and broader collapse of community structures.85They illustrate how youth in South Sudan are coping with the manifestations of conflict, and the disproportionately gendered negative effects on female youth. The term ‘nigga’ does not have the same racialized meaning that it does in the industrialized West, rather, as one report noted, it refers to male youth who come together “as a social group with a particular type of moral order and code seeking to connect to a wider global culture, who sometimes also engage in criminal activities and fighting 83 Leonardi, Cherry et al. (2010). Local Justice in Southern Sudan. Peaceworks No. 66. 84 Leonardi, Cherry. (2007). ‘Liberation’ or capture: Youth in between ‘hakuma’ and ‘home’ during civil war and its aftermath in Southern Sudan. African Affairs 106/424: 391-412. 85 Schomerus, Mareike and Allen, Tim. (2010). Southern Sudan at odds with itself: Dynamics of conflict and predicaments of peace. LSE.


34

Caught in the Middle

amongst themselves…[they] are both a social and economic community, providing members with a sense of belonging, identity, protection, a coping mechanism and support system, and a means to make sense of their role as young men.”86There is nothing universal about these groups. There are those that are dangerous and engage in criminal activities, including SGBV and those that simply sport alternative lifestyles and styles of dress that reflect a preoccupation with hip-hop culture.87 One commonality is the fact that they are seen as a danger to community life “linked with immoral… behavior”88 – concerns that appear to have more to do with the anxieties associated with modernization, urbanization, and the decline of moral authority,89which inherently also threaten the security of young women in different ways. As a chief in Wau Town said about the groups,“…they go and party naked and [wear] provocative clothing…When we, as chiefs, went to address this issue, they threaten us and try and kill us at night.”90He carried on to describe a story of an adolescent female in primary 8 [eighth grade] who when asked by her mother why she was going out during the late hours of the night, had apparently threatened to kill her. In Wau, these groups have a long history where individual “nigga” group members have “become an increasingly sinister and criminal figure” in the town.91 Prior to the war in December 2013, there was considerable 86 DRC-DDG. (2017). Dynamics of youth and violence: Findings from Rubkona County, Unity State, p. 16. 87 Sommers, Marc and Schwartz, Stephanie. (2011). Dowry and division: Youth and state building in South Sudan. USIP Special Report No. 295. 88 Leonardi, Cherry. (2007). ‘Liberation’ or capture: Youth in between ‘hakuma’ and ‘home’ during civil war and its aftermath in Southern Sudan. African Affairs 106/424: 391-412. 89 Leonardi, Cherry et al. (2010). Local Justice in Southern Sudan. Peaceworks No. 66. 90 KII, Chief, Wau Town, December 3, 2018. 91 Leonardi, Cherry et al. (2010). Local Justice in Southern Sudan. Peaceworks No. 66, p. 59.


Caught in the Middle

35

contention that had allegedly surrounded these gangs as the courts were said to be too forgiving of their transgressions, due in part, to the involvement of international human rights bodies.92 As one research participant recounted, “…The government started cracking down on these groups, especially those wearing indecent clothing and pulling down trousers and when they start jailing them, then UNMISS HRD [human rights division] started intervening there is no laws and they should not do this….and the judges say okay.”93It is also suspected that they were protected by the government and allegedly connected to the governing elite in the area.94 Today in Wau there continue to be a large number of gangs. According to one account, “There is nowhere in Wau Town where there is no gang group.”95Even in the POC there are said to be numerous ‘nigga’ groups with names, such as ‘DMX,’ ‘Good Boys’ and ‘West Coast.’ who are involved in violent criminal acts, including rape. A driving force was noted to be the growing idleness of male youth who have few employment opportunities in the current economic and security climate. At the same time, gang members interviewed understood and justified their participation in the ‘nigga’ groups on the basis of deriving a sense of belonging and in some cases even reaching ideals of responsibility and bravery While the groups do vary significantly from each other in some ways, there are some similarities between gangs. Although not ubiquitously true, the groups, at least in Wau Town, seem to organize themselves across ethnic lines, representing all three of Wau’s main ethnic groups in one gang. This could be viewed as some sort of tacit resistance to 92 Leonardi, Cherry et al. (2010). Local Justice in Southern Sudan. Peaceworks No. 66, p. 59. 93 KII, Informant, February 18, 2019. 94 Leonardi, Cherry et al. (2010). Local Justice in Southern Sudan. Peaceworks No. 66. 95 KII, Informant, February 18, 2019.


36

Caught in the Middle

the fractionalism and tribalism that has come to characterize dynamics in and around Wau and in South Sudan as a whole. On the other hand, it could also be related to the diversity and cosmopolitanism that typify any urban center, or larger town in the country. While female membership in the gangs has been said to be more fluid,96 there are female supporters, and in some instances, female sub-groups that have been formed to accommodate the apparent surge in girls joining. One example is ‘Hood Boys’ who formed ‘Hood Girls.’ The researcher also heard of separate girl gangs, such as ‘Sweet Girls’. Even so, the role of the girls within the gang structure largely appear to reiterate their anticipated gender roles in society, cooking and cleaning and inviting other women to the parties held by gangs. Along those lines, while these groups do, at times, engage in criminal activities, one of their primary enterprises revolves around holding parties, as is the case with ‘nigga’ groups elsewhere in South Sudan, such as Bentiu.97 During the parties, members will dress up to demonstrate the unique character of their particular group and in some cases perform ‘dances’ as a way to distinguish themselves from the other groups in attendance. The parties are also a way for male members to meet and interact with females, reflecting the ways in which gang activity both contravene and resist the strict traditionalism of South Sudanese society, which for the most part regulate sex and relationships outside of marriage. They supposedly also used to organize football matches but had to stop on account of ongoing violence where they would be attacked by rival ‘nigga’ groups on the way to the field. The parties themselves can also act as triggers for violence where contending gangs will crash parties, which are ordinarily how gangs establish themselves in relation to one another 96 DRC-DDG. (2017). Dynamics of youth and violence: Findings from Rubkona County, Unity State. 97 DRC-DDG. (2017). Dynamics of youth and violence: Findings from Rubkona County, Unity State.


Caught in the Middle

37

as having reputations for holding good parties. Accordingly, violent confrontations between groups are not infrequent. A key informant notes how, “[I]n Hai Costi and Jebel Kiir, those groups engage in night criminal activity. From 10-11pm they occupy the streets and the road who they find they start robbing and beating…even among themselves, they fight.”98During the second phase of research that occurred in February 2019, one gang member had apparently been killed by a rival gang within town. Murder and theft are not the only criminal activity that these groups are said to engage in. SGBV by ‘niggas’ was said to be mounting. There were several cases of SGBV at the hands of these groups that had been narrated by participants. In one purported case, a teenage girl was gang raped by six men at one of the parties in Hai Jazeera. There was another claim of the use of date rape against a girl of around fourteen, or fifteen who was assaulted at the venues of one of the parties. Outside of rape, adolescent females interviewed also spoke about how members of the ‘nigga’ group would harass them verbally, as well as physically through touching. Whatever the case, it is clear that these groups, while not invariably ‘criminal’ can end up engaging in all manners of violence, including SGBV as a way to defy traditional forms of authority and expected modes of behavior in South Sudan. As the above vignette shows, the decline in moral authority traditionally held by elder males is challenged by the varying forces of shifting political structures, modernization and exposure to the global market. This is creating ruptures in South Sudanese communities, ruptures that are at times addressed by re-affirming and even extending those practices that are closely linked to the exercise of male power. Women and youth come to symbolize bastions over which this control can be extended, creating at times, extreme reactions to attempts to challenge ideals of custom or tradition. At the same time, youth, who are also constrained by these 98 KII, Informant, February 18, 2019.


38

Caught in the Middle

traditional values, do not necessarily reject them outright, at times they are “usurped by…youth who lead by threat and the use of force… where [m]asculine aggressivity has moved to the fore.”99 This process creates a new cycle of violence, all too often targeting young women and girls. In reality the decline in traditional forms of moral authority would be far less significant if there was a functioning state and rule of law to mitigate against its effects, including the rise in violence amongst youth, however, this is not the case in Wau.

99 Huser, Catherine. (2018). Conflict and gender study-South Sudan: Addressing root causes programme. ACORD, p. ix.


Caught in the Middle

39

Key Observations South Sudan is a society in transition, and one that has been subjected to a cacophony of different influences, such as war, economic collapse, conservatism, modernization and the ‘ad hoc’ diffusion of liberal human rights frameworks by external actors. While some of these influences have offered chances to contest what has been a mostly patriarchal moral and social order, they have also created new opportunities for the violent entrenchment of women’s secondary status. This reality is evident in the inclination of women and girls to engage in risky coping mechanisms in order to survive amidst the severe economic decline that has accompanied the conflict, or the continued need to discipline women and girls as a way for them to “maintain their character.”100 Violence, including SGBV doesn’t happen in a societal vacuum and is rooted in structural violence that people experience through society, politics and the economy. Whether it is persistent gender inequalities, or the propensity of male youth to engage in criminal activities, there needs to be an acknowledgement of how factors such as war and economic collapse, effect social and economic structures.101 Social norms, including those responsible for producing prejudice and discrimination against women and girls, are not static and can change, either regressing into the background or being strengthened as appears to be the case in South Sudan. Indeed, it seems that conflict and the decline of the economy have aggravated, rather than mediated the factors that drive violence against women and girls. Moreover, government services, such as security services and rule of law are nascent, struggling with a lack of structure and dearth of skilled professionals to enforce and interpret legislation, and plagued with corruption, leaving women and girls vulnerable to various forms of sexual violence, exploitation and abuse. Policy responses to the issues identified in this paper should be aware that short-term, uncoordinated responses that seek to protect 100 FGD, Male Adolescents, Wau Town, November 30, 2018. 101 See, Rolandsen, Oystein and Breidlid, Ingrid Marie. (2012). A critical analysis of cultural explanations for the violence in Jonglei State, South Sudan. Conflict Trends 1.


40

Caught in the Middle

and empower women and girls without considering the unique social and economic context within which violence against them takes place, are unlikely to be successful. This includes considering the numerous forms through which female identities and bodies are commodified, for instance, through patrilocal bride-wealth based marriages, which continue to underpin societal perceptions of violence against women and girls as an acceptable tool of control. As one report noted, “any program aiming to address the root causes of violence must tackle the ideas, beliefs and attitudes that allow for the continual use of violence as a normal social process.”102 Considering the rapid shift in gender relations where males are no longer able to live up to idealized norms of masculinity leading to the potentially violent reinforcement of traditional gender norms, policies also need to ensure that men and boys are not only engaged in SGBV prevention and response, including in the design of programs, but also empowered to take ownership over alternative norms promoting an end to violence while undoing and challenging learned attitudes and behaviors imbued early in life. Engaging male youth will be of particular significance to any project, whether they are viewed as agents of violence, agents of change, or both. Once again, many of the same social structures that discriminate against women and girls, also disadvantage youth. As the case study on gangs presented has shown, youth appreciate opportunities that enable them to attain a sense of belonging and togetherness;103finding creative ways to confront negative attitudes and behaviors such as SGBV, including music and dance, could be one way in which to better engage youth, such as the ‘nigga’ groups. There are multiple priority areas that must be addressed; however, it is important to consider the current and evolving social and structural dynamics in Wau, in any intervention planned. It is past time to actively translate the gender equality political strides popularized by the government in South Sudan towards concrete local measures for change to combat the SGBV endemic and reach women and girls who have yet to realize this gender ‘progress’ as they face daily risk to their security. 102 Huser, Catherine. (2018). Conflict and gender study-South Sudan: Addressing root causes programme. ACORD, p. viii. 103 See also, Conciliation Resources. (2018). Youth perspectives on peace and security: South Sudan. Report.


Caught in the Middle

41

Recommendations As described from the onset of the paper, the South Sudanese government is a signatory to various international human rights instruments and has instituted gender progressive policies within the South Sudan governmental framework; however it is fundamental that the government establish concrete measures for policy implementation in coordination with civil society actors, with investment in adequately skilled policymakers on human rights, and sufficient national financing and coordination of social protection programs to complement existing civil society structures. Despite the government’s posturing in R-ARCSS that women’s political participation and representation throughout government is to reach a 35% quota system as part of the affirmative action within the Transitional Constitution, this statistic has yet to afford women any real decision-making influence on national issues. Therefore, women must be integrated into key ministries beyond the stereotypical institutions such as Ministry of Gender, and as equal participants to that of their male peers in passing bills. The international community needs to develop all humanitarian and development programming through a gender sensitive lens, and ensure that local groups are thoroughly engaged in order to effectively understand and target relevant responses to evolving social dynamics (e.g. youth social dynamics) as they are providing the support services to survivors of SGBV on the frontlines, and thoroughly understand the issues. Redirecting resources to support national civil society-led responses is fundamental to reducing risks for potential harm to the situation of women and girls and for raising increasing vulnerabilities by way of intervention, for instance food aid at specific distribution points. Additionally, with the highest proposition of out of school children in the world, South Sudanese government public expenditures must be increased to invest in the education sector with resources and dorms and expertise required to establish special support for girls’ education in aims of increasing their enrollment, generate opportunities to attract female teachers, and provide state-wide gender awareness training to all teachers


42

Caught in the Middle

to ensure gender sensitive classrooms that can garner a safe space for girls to learn, as well as seek support of any kind, including reporting cases of SGBV.104 South Sudan must encourage and invest in young women’s access to teachers colleges across the country, as the country is severely lacking female teachers. This could be happening through affirmative action education policy. Engagement of women in teaching under the circumstances will support to reduce the prevalence of sexual violence and girls’ pregnancy and could contribute to reducing school dropout rate for girls as well. South Sudan should invest in reinforcing affirmative action into police services, to further enable women’s access to short term police colleges. Police officers need to be educated in and engaged as advocates against SGBV. Taking tangible steps towards providing SGBV survivors with access to justice by informing them about potential mobile courts and any other community accessible resources for SGBV cases, to begin systematically trying cases of rights violations and sexual violence against women, including rape, and gang rape cases. South Sudan’s communities needs to be supported to establish a strengthened civil society that will lead in the transformation of the country into a nation state that can address and contribute to peace transformation processes. The current patterns of international aid and limiting role of civil society into sub-contracting can, at times, be both problematic and disempowering for civil society. South Sudan civil society must be held accountable as a partner in the country’s transformation and be supported to take the front role in challenging the country’s complex security and development issues, such as SGBV. To conclude, and most importantly, challenging social acceptability of domestic and sexual violence and dehumanizing stereotypes against women and girls needs to become a priority agenda not only for the government of South Sudan, going deeper than formal alignment with international frameworks, and instead targeting awareness and 104 Mednick, Sam. (2019). South Sudan’s future depends on getting children back in school, aid actors say. Devex. https://www.devex.com/news/south-sudan-s-futuredepends-on-getting-children-back-in-school-aid-actors-say-94948


Caught in the Middle

43

implementation at the community level, with police, policymakers, and teachers trained as advocates against SGBV to challenge impunity against women and girls’ rights violations, encouraging survivors to report, and sending a message of consequence to perpetrators.


44

Caught in the Middle

References ACTED. Famine in South Sudan: Understanding food insecurity in Unity State. South Sudan | Uncategorized. Retrieved from: https://www.acted. org/en/famine-in-south-sudan-understanding-food-insecurity-in-unitystate/. Ali, Nada Mustafa. (2011). Gender and State Building in South Sudan. USIP Special Report No. 298. Amnesty International. (2017). Do not remain silent: Survivors of sexual violence in South Sudan call for justice and reparations. Index Number: AFR 65/6469/2017. Retrieved from: https://www.amnesty.org/en/ documents/afr65/6469/2017/en/. Atekdit, Ariik. (2013). More than 30 people injured by gangs during easer celebration in Malakal. Gurtong. Retrieved from: http://www.gurtong. net/ECM/Editorial/tabid/124/ctl/ArticleView/mid/519/articleId/10530/ More-than-30-People-Injured-By-Gangs-during-Easter-Celebration-InMalakal.aspx. Birchall, Jenny. (2019). Gender as a causal factor in conflict. K4D Knowledge, evidence and learning for development Helpdesk report. Bubenzer, Friederike and Orly Stern. Hope, Pain & Patience: The Lives of Women in South Sudan. Jacana Media, 2011. Bumet, Jennie. (2012). Situating sexual violence in Rwanda (1990–2001): sexual agency, sexual consent, and the political economy of war. African Studies Review 55, no. 02: 97-118. CARE. (2014). The girl has no rights: Gender-Based Violence in South Sudan. CARE International. Conciliation Resources. (2018). Youth perspectives on peace and security: South Sudan. Report. Cumming-Bruce, Nick. (2016). Mass rape, a weapon of war, traumatizes


Caught in the Middle

45

South Sudan. New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes. com/2016/03/12/world/africa/un-reports-systematic-rape-in-southsudan-conflict.html. De Waal, Alex. (2014). When Kleptocracy becomes insolvent: Brute causes of the civil war in South Sudan. African Affairs 113/452, 357-369. Deng, David. Challenges of Accountability: An Assessment of Dispute Resolution Process in Rural South Sudan. South Sudan Law Society, Pact, USAID, 2013. Retrieved from: https://www.pactworld.org/challenges%20 of%20accountability. DRC. (2017). Congestion in the Malakal Protection of Civilian (POC) Site, South Sudan. DRC-DDG. (2017). Dynamics of youth and violence: Findings from Rubkona County, Unity State. DW. (2018). South Sudan’s youth collect trash to protest civil war. DW. Retrieved from: https://www.dw.com/en/south-sudans-youth-collecttrash-to-protest-civil-war/a-45954260. Human Rights Watch. (2018). South Sudan: Soldiers Attack Civilians in Western Region. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved from: https://www. hrw.org/news/2018/10/24/south-sudan-soldiers-attack-civilians-westernregion. Human Rights Watch. (2017). South Sudan: New Spate of Ethnic Killings. Human Rights Watch. Retrieved from: https://www.hrw.org/ news/2017/04/14/south-sudan-new-spate-ethnic-killings. Huser, Catherine. (2018). Conflict and gender study-South Sudan: Addressing root causes programme. ACORD. Jok, JokMadut. (1999). Militarism, Gender and Reproductive Suffering: The Case of Abortion in Western Dinka. Journal of the International African Institute 69(2): 194-212.


46

Caught in the Middle

Juba Monitor. (2018). Interior Ministry orders shutdown of night clubs in Juba. Juba Monitor. Retrieved from: http://www.jubamonitor.com/ interior-ministry-orders-shutdown-of-night-clubs-in-juba/. Justice Africa. (2017a). Voices of South Sudanese Women: South Sudanese Women meet to prepare for peace conference. Retrieved from: http:// justiceafrica.org/voices-of-women-in-the-payams-of-juba/. Kindersley, Nicki and Rolandsen, Oystein. (2016). Prospects for peace and the UN regional protection force in South Sudan. Briefing. Retrieved from: https://academic.oup.com/DocumentLibrary/afraf/Briefing%20 South%20Sudan%20Intervention.pdf. Leonardi, Cherry et al. (2010). Local Justice in Southern Sudan. Peaceworks No. 66. Leonardi, Cherry. (2007). ‘Liberation’ or capture: Youth in between ‘hakuma’ and ‘home’ during civil war and its aftermath in Southern Sudan. African Affairs 106/424: 391-412. Luedke, Alicia. (2019). The commodification of women and girls in South Sudan: Increased risks and continued violence. LSE Blogs. Retrieved from: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/crp/2019/04/04/the-commodification-of-womenand-girls-in-south-sudan-increased-risks-and-continued-violence/. Luedke, Alicia. (2015). ‘I wanted to be free’: Gendering conflict and resistance in South Sudan. Draft Paper Presented at the Annual Conference of the International Studies Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America, February 2015. Luedke, Alicia and Logan, Hannah. (2018). ‘That thing of human rights’: Discourse, emergency assistance, and sexual violence in South Sudan’s civil war. Disasters: S99-S118. Luedke, Alicia, Lewis, Chloe and Rodriguez, Marisella. (2017). Sexual violence, exploitation, and abuse: Improving prevention across conflicts and crises. USIP Special Report 417.


Caught in the Middle

47

Martin, Ellen and Sluga, Nina. (2011). Sanctuary in the city? Urban displacement and vulnerability in Yei, South Sudan. HPG Working Paper. Martin, Ellen and Mosel, Irina. (2011). City limits: Urbanisation and vulnerability in Sudan – Juba case study. HPG. MedicinsSans Frontiers. (2018). Press Release: 125 women and girls seek emergency assistance in Bentiu after horrific sexual violence. MedicinsSans Frontiers. Retrieved from: https://www.msf.org/125-women-and-girlsseek-emergency-assistance-bentiu-after-horrific-sexual-violence-southsudan Mednick, Sam. (2019). South Sudan’s future depends on getting children back in school, aid actors say.Devex. Retrieved from: https://www.devex. com/news/south-sudan-s-future-depends-on-getting-children-back-inschool-aid-actors-say-94948 Osman, Amira Awad. (2011). Caught between war and its aftermath: The experience of internally displaced women in Sudan. In The Role of Women in Promoting Peace and Development, Proceedings of the 10th Annual Conference on the Horn of Africa, Lund, Sweden, September 23-24 2011. Oxfam. (2016). South Sudan Gender Analysis: A snapshot situation analysis of the differential impact of the humanitarian crisis on women, girls, men and boys in South Sudan-March-July 2016. Pape, Utz and Phipps, Verena. (2018). Impact of Conflict on Adolescent Girls in South Sudan. Policy Research Working Paper 8510. Pendle, Naomi. (2015). “They are now the community police”: Negotiating the boundaries and nature of the Government of South Sudan through the identity of militarised cattle-keepers.International Journal on Minority and Group Rights 22.3. Pinaud, Clemence. (2014). South Sudan: Civil war, predation and the making of military aristocracy. African Affairs 113.451: 192-211.


48

Caught in the Middle

Plan International. (2018). Adolescent girls in crisis: Voices from South Sudan. Reeve, Richard. (2012). Peace and conflict assessment of South Sudan 2012. International Alert. Rolandsen, Oystein and Breidlid, Ingrid Marie. (2012). A critical analysis of cultural explanations for the violence in Jonglei State, South Sudan. Conflict Trends 1. Schomerus, Mareike and Allen, Tim. (2010). Southern Sudan at odds with itself: Dynamics of conflict and predicaments of peace. LSE. SIHA Network. (2015). The Other War: Gang Rape in Somaliland. SIHA Network. (2012). Falling Through the Cracks: Reflections on Customary Law and the Imprisonment of Women in South Sudan. Sommers, Marc and Schwartz, Stephanie. (2011). Dowry and division: Youth and state building in South Sudan. USIP Special Report No. 295. South Sudan Education Cluster. Education Cluster Assessment – South Sudan. UNICEF: 2017. Available at: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb. int/files/resources/nation-wide_assessment_report_-_ssec_-_2017-11.pdf. Specia, Megan. (2018). 383,000: Estimated Death Toll in South Sudan’s War. New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes. com/2018/09/26/world/africa/south-sudan-civil-war-deaths.html. Sy, Amandou. (2015). The implications of South Sudan’s decision to float its currency. Brookings Africa in Focus. Retrieved from: https://www. brookings.edu/blog/africa-in-focus/2015/12/18/the-implications-ofsouth-sudans-decision-to-float-its-currency/. Sudan Tribune. (2018). Fighting erupts around South Sudan’s Wau Town.” Home | News. Retrieved from: http://www.sudantribune.com/ spip.php?article65896.


Caught in the Middle

49

UN. (2019). Report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. A/HRC/40.CRP.1. 20 February 2019. UN. (2018). Report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. A/HRC/37/CRP.2. 23 February 2018. UNICEF. (2016). The State of the World’s Children 2016 – A Fair Chance for Every Child. New York, Retrieved from: https://www.unicef.org/ publications/files/UNICEF_SOWC_2016.pdf. UNMISS. (2019). Conflict-related sexual violence in northern Unity September-December 2018. UNMISS. (2018). UNMISS acts on allegations of sexual exploitation against formed police unit. UNMISS >> News. Retrieved from: https:// unmiss.unmissions.org/unmiss-acts-allegations-sexual-exploitationagainst-formed-police-unit. USAID. “South Sudan-Education.” Home >> Where We Work >> Africa >> South Sudan >> Education, November 14, 2018. Available at: https:// www.usaid.gov/south-sudan/education. Vuylsteke, Sarah. (2018). Identity and self-determination: The Fertit opposition in South Sudan. HSBA-Small Arms Survey Briefing Paper. Retrieved from: http://www.smallarmssurveysudan.org/fileadmin/docs/ briefing-papers/HSBA-BP-Fertit.pdf. Westendorf, Jasmine-Kim. (2018). Peace negotiations in the political marketplace: The implications of women’s exclusion in the Sudan-South Sudan peace process. Australian Journal of International Affairs: 433-454. What Works. (2017). No Safe Place: A lifetime of violence for conflictaffected women and girls in South Sudan. What Works To Prevent Violence, The Global Women’s Institute, George Washington University, International Rescue Committee, Care, UK Aid. Wudu, Waakhe Simon. (2018). “South Sudan’s economy is among the victims of the conflict.” DW. Retrieved from: https://www.


50

Caught in the Middle

dw.com/en/south-sudans-economy-is-among-the-victims-of-theconflict/a-43062383. WhatWorks. (2018). Intersections of violence against women and girls with state-building and peace-building: Lessons from Nepal, Sierra Leone and South Sudan. The Global Women’s Institute, CARE, International Rescue Committee, UK Aid. World Food Programme. (2018). Breakthrough as humanitarian convoy reaches insecure areas in Wau, South Sudan. WFP News Release. Retrieved from: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/WFP%20 News%20Release_0.pdf.


52

Caught in the Middle

www.sihanet.org

Profile for SIHA Network

CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE - Gender Inequality and Rampant SGBV in Wau, South Sudan  

Women and girls living in South Sudan’s Wau Town, situated in the former Western Bahr el Ghazal state have experienced severe sexual violenc...

CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE - Gender Inequality and Rampant SGBV in Wau, South Sudan  

Women and girls living in South Sudan’s Wau Town, situated in the former Western Bahr el Ghazal state have experienced severe sexual violenc...