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UN says SPLA committed widespread violations during July fighting

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This image provided by the UNMISS on July 11, 2016 shows some of the at least 3000 displaced women, men and children taking shelter at the UN compound in Tomping area in Juba (AFP Photo - Beatrice Mategwa)
August 4, 2016 (GENEVA) – United Nations (UN) has said preliminary investigations into recent fighting in South Sudan, and its aftermath, have revealed that forces loyal to President Salva Kiir carried out killings and rapes, and looted and destroyed properties.

The UN human rights chief on Thursday called on the Security Council to take stronger action against the perpetrators of the crimes.

“Tensions remain very high, and violations continue to take place in Juba and other parts of the country,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, after providing a written update to the Security Council on the preliminary findings of ongoing UN investigations into the five days of fighting that began in the capital Juba on 7 July, and its aftermath.

The UN human rights top official said that information received by UN human rights officers suggested that hundreds of fighters and civilians were killed during the initial fighting.

It said while some civilians were killed in crossfire between the fighting forces, others were reportedly summarily executed by government’s SPLA soldiers, who appeared to have specifically targeted people of Nuer origin.

The report cited as examples two separate incidents on 11 July in which soldiers of the national army, known as the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) reportedly arrested eight Nuer civilians during house-to-house searches in Juba’s Munuki area and took them to two nearby hotels, where they shot four of them. On the same day, SPLA soldiers broke into another hotel where they shot and killed a Nuer journalist.

At least 73 civilian deaths have been catalogued so far by the UN, but it is believed the civilian death toll may in fact turn out to be much higher. The UN said it was denied access to some of the hardest-hit areas in the days following the conflict and a number of restrictions on movement remain in place.

“The fighting also resulted in widespread sexual violence, including rape and gang rape by soldiers in uniform and men in plain clothes,” Zeid said, adding that Nuer, Dinka and women from the three Equatorian states were all targeted, along with foreign nationals. Many victims were minors.

“We have documented at least 217 cases of sexual violence in Juba between 8 and 25 July,” Zeid said.

“In a few areas, women from various ethnic groups were raped by heavily armed youth believed to be affiliated to the SPLA in Opposition (SPLA/IO),” the report said.

“However, according to the information we have gathered so far, those most affected were displaced Nuer women and girls and those responsible seem to have been mostly SPLA.”

“Sexual violence continued after the initial fighting subsided and over 100 women and girls are reported to have been raped or gang-raped on the road leading out of Juba towards Yei. On 18 July, for example, 35 women and girls were reportedly raped in two separate incidents: firstly, 28 women, including 12 minors, were allegedly assaulted at an SPLA checkpoint at the Jebel Junction on the Yei Road; and in the second incident that day, seven other women were reportedly raped on the road between two Protection of Civilians sites, where people – mostly Nuer — displaced by earlier rounds of fighting are protected by UNMISS peacekeepers,” it further said.

During the five days of fighting in Juba, it added, thousands more people were forcibly displaced, and many civilians were denied access to safety in UN compounds by SPLA soldiers manning the various checkpoints that sprang up across Juba.

“There have also been reports of forced recruitment by the SPLA, including of children, in Bor,” it said.

The UN High Commissioner urged the Transitional Government of National Unity to restore dialogue and take steps to ensure justice and accountability, and called on the international community to put real pressure on the government to halt violence and respect the life of all South Sudanese.

“The severity of the recent violence, and the very dangerous ethnic undertone, call for urgent action by the Security Council,” he said.

(ST)

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  • 5 August 2016 00:23, by Panda Odhie

    UN really is setup to conspired as global liar and fuel division among the tribes dwelling,this is full of fictions in order to achieve their hide agenda on SS those are Pagan words.

    repondre message

    • 5 August 2016 16:16, by Hardlinner

      Goverment shld prioritize agriculture n kick UN out for good. UN is stiring up tribal wars in S Sudan by manufacturing lies. I hv never heard them talking about alives of innocent dinka civilians killed by rebels on juba numile road. They r indeed advocating for Rwanda genocide in S sudan by fitting tribe against one another. I think UN as become KKK organization. South sudanese shld watch out

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  • 5 August 2016 02:36, by allan

    I think un is another name for nuer or Riak Machar company

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  • 5 August 2016 05:33, by Dinka-Defender-General

    UN needs to stay away from south Sudan affairs. You don’t know our problems and you didn’t help us during the 22 war with Khartoum when they killed 2 millions. Therefore, stay out of our internal affairs please.

    repondre message

  • 5 August 2016 06:33, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    UN is a world organisation body that speak facts on the ground. No one can dispute what took place in South Sudan in the recent history.Right now we have tribal monsters claiming to be a national army that act just much worse than Jallaba army. When a Balanda, Zande, Moru, Kuku women are raped and men massacred do you call them Nuer? Why is it hard to implement reform?

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    • 5 August 2016 11:20, by Akuma

      Jur,

      UNMISS forces and SPLA-IO forces who run into UNMISS compound are responsible of such abuses otherwise SPLA forces are very discipline compared to UNMISS and SPLA-IO forces. PLease begin mourning your wife boss is dead

      repondre message

      • 5 August 2016 11:46, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

        Mr Akuma,

        This is a time not for misinformation. Every thing you or your so called rebels are doing is being seen through the satellite. Stop kidding soon or later you will have to answer for your deeds.

        repondre message

  • 5 August 2016 09:15, by Eastern

    UN Security Council has become a talking shop indeed! Shame!

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  • 5 August 2016 17:50, by marie

    South Sudan government has the option of terminating its membership in the UN. As it did apply for membership, it has the freedom of opting out of UN. Then we would see what happens.

    repondre message

  • 5 August 2016 19:02, by Eastern

    SPLA-Kiir robbed, fucked, raped, killed and did what you can imagine thanks to their easily granted membership to the UN; now, South Sudan should rally the masses to move out of the same before the long and blooded beaks in J1 begin chirruping about sovereignty!!! Sovereignty without responsibility is dangerous and useless!!

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