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UN Faults South Sudanese Officials for Possible War Crimes






The United Nations in a report published Friday by investigators by its Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, says more than 40 officials; military generals and state governors to be responsible for several acts of rape, the murder of civilians and the recruitment of child soldiers. All of which are considered as crimes against humanity.

The report did not go the length in naming the officials. ”Children have been recruited by all sides in the conflict and forced to kill civilians; in many cases, they have watched loved ones raped or killed, the scale of the hunger and destruction inflicted on the country by its political and military leaders defies description.”

Civil war broke in South Sudan 2013, barely two years after gaining independence from Sudan. Forces loyal to President Salva Kiir have been fighting against others allied to his former deputy, Riek Machar who was sacked.

A peace deal signed in August 2015, Kiir and Machar formed a unity government in April 2016 which will later fall apart three months later and the fighting continued.

Ten of thousands of people have been killed as a result of the conflict, leaving more than half of the country’s 12 million population in dire need of humanitarian aid, according to the UN.

Based on interviews conducted with hundreds of eyewitnesses, satellite imagery and thousands of reviewed documents, all of which will be used for war crimes proceedings sometime in the future as evidence, which was part of the terms of the 2015 peace deal brokered between the warring factions.

South Sudan’s government will create a Hybrid Court with the AU to try people accused of atrocities. Andrew Clapham, a commissioner for the report has called for the tribunal to be set up without further delay. ”Holding those in charge in South Sudan accountable for the intentional suffering they inflict on their people is crucial to stemming this humanitarian catastrophe, the African Union should immediately move with South Sudan to establish the Hybrid Court.”

Individuals indicted for ”war crimes” cannot hold or stand for office in South Sudan as per the peace deal. The UN estimates some 4 million people have been displaced due to the fighting in South Sudan, half of whom are seeking refuge in neighboring countries.



Neba Benson,

BaretaNews Foreign Correspondent/Analyst


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