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Those who harm, abuse others must face justice – Nyandeng

People who harm and abuse others based on gender identity must be brought to justice, Rebecca Nyandeng, the Vice President for Gender and Youth Clusters, has said.

Nyandeng made the remarks while visiting the GBV and Juvenile court in South Sudan’s capital Juba on Tuesday. 

Speaking to journalists during the visit to the court, Nyandeng vowed to ensure justice for all victims of gender-based violence.

“As the chairperson for the Gender and Youth Clusters, I pledge to work hard to see to it that those who harm and abuse others are brought to justice. This court not only facilitates access to justice for survivors, but it also safeguards individual liberty, privacy, security and human rights dignity,” she said.

Jemma Nunu Kumba, the Speaker of the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly hailed President Salva Kiir for commissioning the establishment of a GBV and Juvenile court in Juba.

“As a parliament, we have an important role to play in this issue and that is why we are discussing it today. First, I would like to congratulate the president for his support by availing this building and also for the political will that he has for the establishment of this special court to deal with the issues of gender-based violence and juvenile cases,” Nunu said.

“I was part of the conversation to establish such a court together with the partners of the judiciary when I was a minister of gender, and I am glad that my successor, Ayaa Benjamin Warile has taken it together with our partners to this level,” she said.

In her statement during the visit to the court, South Sudan’s Minister of Gender and Social Welfare, Ayaa Benjamin Warile said women and girls across South Sudan continue to suffer from domestic and gender-based violence due to a lack of protection.

“South Sudanese women and girls continue to experience challenges with limited protection. Even in their families where they are supposed to be free, they still have issues related to the right of divorce, custody of children, inheritance of property whether from their fathers or from their deceased husbands,” Ayaa said.

“Early and forced marriages, domestic violence and rape continue to affect them. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable to violence in the hands of men who are supposed to be protecting them,” she added.

Human Rights Ambassador Bahia Tahzib-Lie was part of the first high-level visit to the GBV and Juvenile court in Juba.

Among those who accompanied the Vice President to the court were Nunu, Chief Justice Chan Reech Madut, Minister of Gender and Social Welfare Ayaa Benjamin Awarile, Minister of Youths and Sports Dr Albino Akol, Human Rights Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands Bahia Tahzib-Lie, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands Jelte Van Wieren and UNDP Resident Representative Dr Samuel Doe.

The Gender-Based Violence and Juvenile court was inaugurated in Juba in December 2022.

The facility is meant to deliver justice to victims of gender-based violence.

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