JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudanese pro-government forces killed 114 civilians in a single town last year and brutally raped girls and women in front of their families amid growing ethnic violence in the country’s civil war, a new United Nations report said Friday.
The investigation released by the U.N. human rights office said those cases and other abuses in Yei between July and January may amount to crimes against humanity. Abuses included the indiscriminate shelling of civilians, attacks on funerals, looting and burning.
Yei is where The Associated Press late last year witnessed bodies with their hands bound. Satellite images showed “widespread burning of homes and businesses,” the report said.
The new report pointed out the “startling level of impunity in South Sudan” that has fed cycles of deadly ethnic violence.
South Sudan government spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny rejected the report’s findings, saying the government is operating within the law. “It’s not true,” he told the AP. “(Ethnic) Dinkas in that area were being targeted by rebels.” Ethnic Dinkas dominate the military and government of President Salva Kiir.
Opposition forces also have been responsible for abuses in South Sudan’s conflict, now in its fourth year. “The extent of the abuses by armed opposition groups remains unclear due to lack of access to areas where these groups are active,” the report said.
Until last year, Yei had been largely peaceful with 200,000 to 300,000 people from various tribes. But after deadly violence erupted in the capital, Juba, in July, fighting spread to parts of South Sudan that had been spared by the conflict. As rebel leader Riek Machar fled into neighboring Congo, fighting broke out in Yei and elsewhere along his path.
Tens of thousands have been killed in the civil war. More than 1.8 million have fled the country in what has become the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis.
The U.N. called on all sides to lay down their arms and for the government to investigate abuses and prosecute those responsible.
Newer news items:
- If Trump does nothing, 50% of South Sudan's population could soon be gone - 22/05/2017
- South Sudan: More than one million on brink of starvation - 21/05/2017
- South Sudan: Local Aid Workers On the Front Line of South Sudan's Civil War - 20/05/2017
- South Sudan: NGO Blames Water Pollution in South Sudan On Oil Company - 20/05/2017
- Sudan-South Sudan relations: Tentative steps from war to peace - 19/05/2017
Older news items:
- South Sudan war: Killings may amount to 'war crimes' UN warns as violence continues - 19/05/2017
- South Sudan Forces Killed 114 Civilians Around Yei in Six Months: U.N. - 19/05/2017
- South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis worsens - 19/05/2017
- Nock efforts bring second well to South Sudan - 19/05/2017
- Eight Months After Approval, New U.N. Troops Trickle Into South Sudan - 18/05/2017
Popular news items:
- No oil in troubled waters - 25/03/2014 - Read 17963 times
- Former Lost Boy Gives Back to South Sudan - Care2.com (blog) - 31/05/2012 - Read 12403 times
- NDSU student from South Sudan receives scholarship - In-Forum - 29/09/2012 - Read 11487 times
- School exam results in South Sudan show decline - Bikya Masr - 01/04/2012 - Read 11275 times
- With prisons full, South Sudan to introduce mobile courts to clear backlog of ... - Washington Post - 11/10/2012 - Read 9959 times