Home | News    Friday 9 May 2014

S. Sudan: UN says both sides committed “crimes against humanity”

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May 8, 2014 (JUBA) – United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said documentations and investigations into the country’s five-month-old conflict showed both sides committed gross human rights violations that amounted to “crimes against humanity”.

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A blind elderly Shilluk woman who was beaten by opposition fighters, pictured in Upper Nile state’s Malakal hospital in February 2014 (Photo: Donatella Rovera for Amnesty International)

The report’s finding are “not a surprise”, UNMISS spokesperson Ariane Quentier told Sudan Tribune on Thursday, considering the stark reading of the interim investigation released on 21 February.

“UNMISS had committed [in February] to look more into investigation it had started [and] rather document better the Human Right abuses and violation of international law to be able to substantiate what was in the first report,” said Quentier.

"This report is not a surprise unfortunately. It documented grave violations on wider scale and it has been committed by both sides," she added.

The document, entitled Conflict in South Sudan: A Human Rights Report said extrajudicial killings, sexual abuses, forced disappearance an targeted killings had characterised the conflict particularly in areas that have changed hands several times between the government and rebels.

“In light of the widespread and systematic nature of many of these attacks, and information suggesting a degree of coordination and planning in some incidents, there are reasonable grounds to believe that certain crimes against humanity may have been committed, including murder, rape and other acts of sexual violence, enforced disappearance, and imprisonment,” the UNMISS report reads in part.

South Sudan descended into conflict following differences between President Salva Kiir and sacked vice president Riek Machar over the leadership of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

President Kiir – who doubles as SPLM chairman – accused Riek Machar of attempting a coup to oust him in a coup on 15 December. Machar denied this allegation, but went on to mobilise defected soldiers and armed civilians from his power base among the Nuer tribe – South Sudan’s second largest ethnic group.

Since the first few days of fighting in Juba, the fighting spread and largely remains confined to Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states, which all have substantial Nuer populations.

Despite notable exceptions among the leadership of both sides, much of the fighting on the group has pitted members of president Kiir’s Dinka tribe against the Nuer. Revenge attacks along the basis of ethnicity have also characterised the conflict.

Hilde F. Johnson, head of UNMISS, said both sides to the conflict should implement the report’s recommendations.

“Accountability is critical to end the legacy of impunity in South Sudan and prevent similar atrocities in the future. There can be no reconciliation without accountability. We call for a credible peace process that will lead to national healing and reconciliation,” Johnson told Radio Miraya.

The damning report is primarily based on more than 900 interviews with eye witnesses and victims. It says that “from the very outset ... gross violations of international law…occurred on a massive scale”.

Johnson said that both sides had committed “grave violations and atrocities”, including the “particularly horrific” mass killing at the start of the conflict at a police station near Juba, and the killing of some 200 people allegedly by rebels in Bentiu last month.

In both instances, the killings were “clearly ethnically motivated,” Johnson said.

Over 1.3 million people have been displaced by the conflict and around half of the population urgently need food aid. The report, the UN mission head said, showed attacks took place against women, children, the elderly and disabled.

Both the government and rebel officials were not immediately available to comment.

(ST)

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  • 9 May 08:33, by Joseph Canada

    The UNIMISS should not just cover the situation by accusing both side while we know clearly who started the killing. They should stand up and show their balls and said one side was defending while the other started it

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    • 9 May 08:46, by Peter Marko

      You bastard, son of B***h, how killing and victimizing the innocent people, like this elder woman in the attached picture, is considered a self-defend. Please, if u do not know the legal meaning of self-defend, then u need to google it, before talking nonsense. The rebel forces are murderers, rapists, and looters.

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      • 9 May 10:21, by omoni jr.

        Peter Marko,
        you are the one son of a "Bitch".
        who started this tribal and senseless war? who made a coup and started slaughtered innocent citizens on 12/15-19/2013 in captital Juba, South Sudan?? use your brain instead of shit-hole sir.

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        • 9 May 11:21, by Jewish Ally

          JOSEPH CANADA, OMONI
          HATRE THOSE THAT TALK WITH THEIR SHIT INSTEAD OF THE MOUTH, BECAUSE BY NOT TELLING THE TRUTH THIS SOUTH SUDAN WILL NEVER YIELD FRUIT OF PEACE FOREVER. IF LOOK DEEP INTO THE CAUSE OF THE CONFICT CAUSED BY THE TWO GREEDY POLITICIAN, IT SO WASTEFUL TO THE YOUNG NATION LIKE SOUTH SUDAN.

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          • 9 May 11:23, by Jewish Ally

            MACHAR AND KIIR ARE THE DOOM OF THIS BEAUTIFUL NATION, WHY KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE FOR THEIR POWER AND WEALTH AMBITION. I MOSTLY BLAME MACHAR ALWAYS FOR BEING IMPATIENT TO WAIT FOR A RIGHT TIME OF HOSTING KIIR OUT OF PRSIDENCY "2015 WAS SO NEAR FOR HIM TO WAIT" THIS DESTRUCTION HE INITIATED.
            MACHAR IS TRIBAL LEADER THAN CALLING HIMSELF NATIONAL LEADER GUEST FOR YOURSELF THE REASON BEHIND (1991 &

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            • 9 May 11:24, by Jewish Ally

              MACHAR IS TRIBAL LEADER THAN CALLING HIMSELF NATIONAL LEADER GUEST FOR YOURSELF THE REASON BEHIND (1991 & 2013 TO DATE) HOW CAN PHD HOLDER THINK LIKE AND VILLAGE IDIOT. GIVING AMUNITION AND MONEY TO HIS OWN TRIBEMEN TO OVERTHROW THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT, AND AFTER FAILING BLAME THE ON TRIBAL KILLING IN JUBA
              NUER WITH CHICKEN BRAIN ACCEPTED THE CHEAP BLOODY MONEY WITHOUT REASONING FOR THE OUTCOMING

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              • 9 May 11:26, by Jewish Ally

                WITHOUT REASONING FOR THE OUTCOMING OF THEIR RESULT BUT THE WENT ON PROUDLY SAYING THEY ARE THE HUSBAND OF DINKA AND THEY WILL CHASED THEM OUT OF THE CAPITAL WITHIN 24 HOURS. SOMETHING WHICH BECAME IMPOSIBLE TO THEM.
                DINKAS WERE DRAGGED TO THE WAR OF COUP DETAT, BUT NUER WERE FIGHTING THE WAR OF OVERTHROWING KIIR ’S GOVERNMENT AND KILLING ALL DINKAS IN Juba, THE SECRET THAT WAS REVEALLED IMMEDIATE

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                • 9 May 11:27, by Jewish Ally

                  AFTER 12:30PM ON MONDAY THE 16TH OF DECEMBER AND DINKAS REACTED BY KILLING NUER PEOPLE AS A REVENGE BOTH IN NEW SITE AND GUDELE.
                  THE ONLY MISTAKES WHICH KIIR DID MAY BE THE REMOVAL OF GREEDY MACHAR AND REPLACING HIM WITH HUMBLE AND YES MAN "IGGA" THAT MADE THE GREEDY MAN TO WANTING TO OVERTHROW HIM. OTHER PROBLEM WITH KIIR IS FOR BEING FULL OF AMNESTY AGAINST IS ENEMIES AND FORGETTING IS COMRADE

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                  • 9 May 11:29, by Jewish Ally

                    WHOM THE BROUGHT THIS INDEPENDENCE TOGETHER .
                    MY BLAME TO BOTH KIIR AND MACHAR STRUGGLING FOR POWER IS THE TARGETTED KILLING OF INNOCENT CIVILIAN AND UNDERPRIVILEGE PEOPLE ACROSS SOUTH SUDAN. FOR THIS MATTER I WOULD SAY BOTH OF THEM ARE CURSE TO OUR NATION AND THE DESERVE TO STEP ASIDE AND LEAVE WAY TO OTHER NATIONALIST AND PATRIOTIC MEN AND WOMEN TO LEAD THIS NATION

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  • 9 May 10:53, by chuol

    Thank you my equatorian friend OMONI JR for telling that GOGRIAL BOY what he has never know.
    UNMISS are trying to please JUBA REGIME by accusing the both side but we would not tolerate that indeed. KIIR, MALONG, KUOL, MAKUEI, CHINUONG, AND THE LIKES MUST FACE ICC WHAT COME MAY.

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    • 9 May 11:34, by Jewish Ally

      I AM NOT MACHAR NOR MAYARDIT BUT I AM FOR THE ALL PEOPLE OF SOUTH SUDAN WHO BENEFIT OUT OF NOTHING BUT DEATH AND SUFFERING. JUBA AND NASIR WORSE MENTIONING IN MY MEMORY AND GOT WILL NOT FORGIVE THE ATROCITIES COMMITTED UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF THIS TWO GANG THAT ARE MISLEADING THE NATION

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