January 18, 2018 (JUBA)- The two main rival forces in the South Sudanese implicated in a newly released United Nations report have denied their involvement in human right abuses, with government troops protesting and questioning the credibility of the report.
- Arms and light weapons have been used by both warring parties in South Sudan to commit abuses (Photo courtesy of SSANSA)
The world body, in a report released on Wednesday, accused the South Sudanese army (SPLA) and the armed opposition faction of abusing civilians in form of rape, abduction and killing of innocent civilians in various parts of the country.
However, the deputy spokesman of the SPLA Col. Santo Domic criticized the UN report, which claimed government troops of committing grave human rights violations including killings and gang rapes in Juba during and after the fighting that occurred between 8 and 12 July 2016.
The military officer wondered why the victims could not come forward to report the alleged abuses or go to court to file their grievances against the actual perpetrators.
“The victims should go to the court and open cases against the perpetrators, if the accused are members of the SPLA army, they should come and identify the perpetrators, if they are from the national security, they should do the same thing,” he said.
William Gatjiath Deng, the official spokesman of the armed opposition denied their involvement of their forces in the atrocities committed during and after the fighting in Juba.
"The SPLA-IO forces were not part of it, because when the clashes erupted in Juba everybody knows what happened, were clashed with the government forces and we left Juba, but the government forces went and raped international aid workers," claimed Deng.
The two officers were reacting to the UN report, which observed that throughout the fighting between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO),”the belligerents blatantly ignored international human rights law and humanitarian law.”
The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and iys H’ uman Rights Office published the report.