Forces loyal to the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, attacked a compound full of foreign aid workers. After bashing down the compound doors, the loyalists went to work beating, torturing, and sexually assaulting the civilians inside. A few minutes away from a UN compound, the aid workers texted, emailed, and phoned for help from both the U.N. peacekeeping forces and the U.S. embassy. Neither would answer the call.
For hours, soldiers, likely drugged, looted homes within the compound and repeatedly raped women. Some gang-raped aid workers were American, and threats and tirades against America were made in speeches by the South Sudanese forces.
Victorious from their fighting in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, against rebel forces, the soldiers now took their aggression out on this compound. Where was the United States to intervene? No rapid reaction force from the U.N. was willing to intervene. Hours later, South Sudanese soldiers arrived to break up the rampage of their cohorts.
The soldier pointed his AK-47 at the female aid worker and gave her a choice.
“Either you have sex with me, or we make every man here rape you and then we shoot you in the head,” she remembers him saying.