South Sudan officials may be guilty of war crimes: UN report

Latest news

    South Sudan plunged into civil war in 2013, two years after gaining independence [Goran Tomasevic/Reuters]

    More than 40 South Sudanese officials may have committed crimes against humanity, the UN has said.

    A report on Friday by Investigators from the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan said the officials – including military generals and state governors – may be responsible for the rape and murder of civilians, and recruitment of child soldiers.

    The officials were not named in the report.

    “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 report said.

    “The scale of the hunger and destruction inflicted on the country by its political and military leaders defies description.”

    South Sudan plunged into civil war in 2013, two years after gaining independence from neighbouring Sudan, when conflict broke out between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and others allied to his former deputy, Riek Machar.

    Machar and Kiir signed a peace deal in August 2015, and formed a unity government the following April before it broke down three months later, but fighting has continued.

    The conflict has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people and left more than half of the country’s 12 million population in need of humanitarian aid, according to the UN.

    The report – based on interviews with hundreds of witnesses, satellite imagery and nearly 60,000 documents – will be used as evidence in future war crimes trials, due to take place under the terms of the 2015 peace deal.

    Prospect of prosecutions

    According to the agreement, South Sudan’s government will create a hybrid court with the Africa Union to try atrocities.

    Andrew Clapham, one of the report’s commissioners, called for the court to be set up without further delay.

    “Holding those in charge in South Sudan accountable for the intentional suffering they inflict on their own people is crucial to stemming this humanitarian catastrophe,” Clapham said.

    “The African Union should immediately move with South Sudan to establish the Hybrid Court.”

    The UN estimates nearly four million people have been displaced by the fighting in South Sudan, around half of whom are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.

    Individuals indicted for war crimes cannot hold or stand for office in South Sudan, according to the terms of the peace deal, Yasmin Sooka, chairperson of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, said.

    “Ultimately this is the only way to stop the rampant devastation of millions of human lives by South Sudan’s leaders,” she said.

    Mawien Makol, South Sudan’s spokesperson for foreign affairs, told Reuters news agency the government will prosecute anyone found gulity of committing crimes.

    View the original article: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/south-sudan-officials-guilty-war-crimes-report-180223152525125.html

    “This is a responsible government,” she said.

    In the same category are

    Pompeo suggests US may lift Turkey sanctions linked to pastor US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that Washington may lift sanctions imposed on Turkey during the dispute over its detention of a US pastor. ...
    Video shows Chicago officer shooting unarmed autistic teen Newly released surveillance footage shows an off-duty Chicago police officer shooting and wounding an unarmed autistic black teenager in an incident t...
    Raging floodwaters in central Texas prompt evacuations Floodwaters in parts of central Texas prompted evacuations as some areas were hit by more than 300mm on Tuesday. A state of emergency has been declare...
    The North Korean defectors living in the Netherlands The names of the North Korean defectors have been changed in this article to protect their identities. Gilze en Rijen and Musselkanaal, The Netherland...
    Turkish investigators enter Saudi consul’s Istanbul residence A team of Turkish investigators has entered the residence of the Saudi consul general in Istanbul as part of an investigation into the disapperance an...
    Turkish investigators enter Saudi consul’s Istanbul residence A team of Turkish investigators has entered the residence of the Saudi consul general in Istanbul as part of an investigation into the disapperance an...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.