The U.N. Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Nicolas Haysom, said investigations into alleged sexual violence by humanitarian workers have been completed and has already been submitted to the Secretary-General, Mr Antonio Guterres, for action.
In September 2022, New Humanitarian report revealed systemic failures and missed opportunities by the aid sector, and a deep betrayal for vulnerable women and girls at the camp, which now hosts some 37,000 people in Malakal, Upper Nile State.
The report alleged that staff of the World Food Organization (WFO), World Vision, and many others that supported schools at the camp indulged in sex with women and girls as young as 15 years old. One of the survivors, who, according to the report, was underage, contemplated suicide for fear of being exposed but decided to leave the camp.
It further alleged that the camps’ residents told investigators that women were experiencing sexual exploitation on daily basis by aid workers as NGO staff rented houses within the POC to have sex with women, as well as paying bribes to gain access to them.
However, Haysom had promised to investigate and punish the perpetrators right after the release of the report in September.
But the 2015 reports of sexual exploitation and abuse involving aid agencies against aid beneficiaries, including UN peacekeepers, are yet to be publicly addressed. Dozens of survivors of Wau PoC sexual abuse by the Ghanaian peacekeeping forces are yet to realise justice.
This has been made difficult to achieve by the UN rules, which are embedded in the Status of the Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the UN and South Sudan and state that the peacekeepers are under the exclusive jurisdiction of their respective countries that sent them to serve abroad.