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Rights body calls for sanctions on S. Sudan leaders, generals

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August 1, 2017 (JUBA) – A New York-based human rights entity has called for the imposition of sanctions against the top South Sudanese leaders it considers responsible for abuses meted against civilians.

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First Vice-President Riek Machar (L) and President Salva Kiir (R) listen to the national anthem following a ceremony during which Machar was sworn in on April 26, 2016. (Phot AFP/Samir Bol)

Those on the proposed list, Human Rights Watch said, are President Salva Kiir, also the army commander-in-chief, leader of armed opposition forces, Riek Machar, and Gen. Paul Malong Awan, the ex-army chief of general staff.

The leaders of South Sudanese government and opposition have not managed to stop atrocity crimes committed against the civilian population, including killings, rape and forced displacement, a human rights watchdog said in a report it released on Tuesday.

The report of Human Rights Watch focuses on the Kajo Keji county in the former Central Equatoria state, and Pajok, a town in the former Eastern Equatoria state.

In the past year alone, over one million civilians, many of them from villages in this region, have reportedly fled to neighboring countries. Also, more than 700,000 crossed into Uganda alone.

“As elsewhere in South Sudan, the conflict in the Equatoria has played on pre-existing ethnic and communal tensions and is marked by serious abuses committed against civilians by government soldiers and opposition fighters," the report that documents the spreading violence and appalling abuses against civilians, revealed.

Witnesses from the Kajo Keji county said attacks in the area began in mid-2016 and reported seeing at least 47 people being unlawfully killed by government soldiers over the next year. Witnesses from both Pajok and the Kajo Keji county also reported cases of arbitrary detention, torture and enforced disappearances by the army.

Meanwhile, the right entity also listed six other military officials said to have individually been criminally responsible for the escalation of the South Sudan conflict and should also be subjected to investigations.

Those to be sanctioned, the rights body said, are ?Lt. Gen. Johnson Juma Okot, ?Lt. Gen. Bol Akot, ?Lt. Gen. Marial Nour Jok, ?Lt. Gen. Attayib Gatluak, Gen. Johnson Olony and Maj. Gen. Matthew Puljang.

“The potential criminal responsibility of those listed above, both direct and on the basis of command responsibility, should also be the subject of criminal investigations, with a view to prosecute those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in fair and credible trials,” stressed the rights body in its 52-page report.

According to Human Rights Watch, almost 2 million people have deserted South Sudan, while another two million remain internally displaced since the beginning of the conflict in December 2013.

The hostilities erupted in South Sudan in 2013, when Kiir fired Machar, who was the leader of South Sudanese opposition forces, accusing him of planning a military coup. The parties signed a peace agreement in August 2015, but hostilities resumed in July 2016.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 2 August 2017 07:45, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Sanction and arrest of top leaders who are responsible of South Sudan messing can reduce the suffering in the country
    You sancts them.

    repondre message

  • 2 August 2017 08:34, by dinkdong

    I am 100% with the Right Body calls for the sanctions. Those bastards, especially KiiRiek, deserve it. I wish the so called UN, the Trioka, and the EU listen and go through with it and nail them with tough sanctions. They ruined what was the great accomplishment.

    repondre message

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