May 19, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese rebel group led by the former vice-president Riek Machar has accused government troops loyal to president Salva Kiir of of gang raping women in the oil-rich Upper Nile state.
The SPLM-In-Opposition military spokesperson, Lul Ruai Koang said government troops who had earlier occupied Mathiang town, in Upper Nile state, gang raped women as they were retreating from the area on Friday and Saturday.
“Prior to retreating, Kiir’s troops had earlier on lured hunger stricken civilians in surrounding villages to come to Mathiang to get food rations. On hearing the promise to get free food, an estimated 80 women and girls flocked to Mathiang only to be gang raped upon arrival,” Koang claimed in a statement he released on Sunday.
He also alleged that an estimated 60 civilians had been killed as well as buildings belonging to local government destroyed by the government forces.
The rebel official also said that 40 Nuer soldiers were summarily executed this week in Pochalla county of Jonglei state, he added, despite the fact that they were also loyal to president Salva Kiir.
The rebels spokesperson further said that the families of the victims were also detained and put under “inhumane conditions with women and young girls getting repeatedly gang raped by troops belonging to the government.
Koang called on the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan, regional and international Human Rights bodies to “immediately investigate these serious violations.”
The South Sudanese warring parties recommitted themselves on 9 May 2014 to observe a cessation of hostilities agreement they signed last January.
South Sudan is embroiled in ethnic bloody violence since mid-December with international human rights bodies reporting gross violations of human rights by both parties.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed while over a million displaced internally and to the neighbouring countries according to the United Nations.