Human eats human in South Sudan crisis
From RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – PEOPLE forced to eat human flesh and disembowel corpses during South Sudan’s civil war are among thousands suffering from trauma and psychological distress amid a chronic shortage of mental healthcare services in the country.
This is according to human rights group, Amnesty International, which has documents the psychological impact of mass killings, rape, torture, abductions and even a case of forced cannibalism.
“While the death and physical destruction caused by the conflict and preceding decades of war are immediately apparent, the psychological scars are less visible and neglected,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
The report is based on interviews with 161 victims of and witnesses to human rights violations, as well as mental health professionals, government and United Nations officials, and representatives of non-governmental organizations.
The report reveals a dire lack of mental health services across the country for people in need of support and care.
South Sudan became independent in July 2011 after decades of war.
It plunged into a brutal civil war two years later after President Salva Kiir accused his influential Vice-President Riek Machar of plotting to overthrow him in a coup.
They recently formed a government of unity.
Thousands of people have been killed entire towns and villages destroyed and about 1,7 million people internally displaced.
Wanyeki said while an end to atrocities including torture, rape and murder would be an obvious urgent first step to preventing additional mental health consequences, action also must be taken to heal the damage already done, by providing victims with treatment and other appropriate reparations.
– CAJ News
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