Abstract

ABSTRACT:

Different labels have been used to characterize violence against civilians in South Sudan since the beginning of the third civil war (2013- present). The United Nations categorized the violence as "on the edge of," or as "potential" genocide. This article contends that mass rape by the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and affiliated militias against civilians is genocidal, based on over 325 interviews collected in South Sudan and Uganda's refugee camps in 2015–2017, including with rape survivors and witnesses. The article investigates the organization and commission of systematic gang-rapes in two of the most conflict-stricken areas of South Sudan. It argues that genocidal rape is two-pronged. In addition to destroying the target groups, genocidal rape also secures gains for the perpetrators. Much of the literature on rape as a weapon of war has thus focused on what it does (or what it is meant to do) to the victim group and what it accomplishes militarily. This article also explains what genocidal rape does for the perpetrators, and how it impacts society's social stratification. Genocidal rape not only obliterates victim groups: in destroying and transferring wealth to the perpetrators, it is part of a capitalist logic that consolidates ethnic groupness and domination.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1085-794X
Print ISSN
0275-0392
Pages
pp. 667-694
Launched on MUSE
2020-08-04
Open Access
No
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