The United Nations published a new report on Friday about the “horrendous” violations that are taking place in South Sudan, which include cases of civilians “burned alive or cut to pieces” and rapes, where Government forces are involved. It appears that in 2015 the number of such crimes, conducted by State actors, were increased.
Sexual Violence crimes are “particularly shocking” in the landlocked country located in northeastern Africa, which became independent from Sudan in 2011. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said Friday that between April and September 2015, the UN recorded more than 1,300 reports of rape, in just one of South Sudan’s ten states.
According to the U.N., groups allied with the South Sudan government are allowed to rape women, as a form of pay. At the same time, opposition groups and criminal gangs have been raping women and girls.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra`ad Al Hussein said in a press release that Government Sudan People’s Liberation Army forces and affiliated militia are “slaughtering civilians and destroying property and livelihoods”.
“This is one of the most horrendous human rights situations in the world, with massive use of rape as an instrument of terror and weapon of war — yet it has been more or less off the international radar.” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday.
The world’s newest country has suffered since its beginning
The report was published by a team sent by the High Commissioner to South Sudan from October 2015 to January 2016. It says that the human rights situation in South Sudan has decayed considerably since the civil war began between government and opposition forces on 15 December 2013.
It is calculated that more than two million South Sudanese have been displaced and thousands have been killed, stressed the United Nations. South Sudan is the world’s newest country and “it has suffered from conflicts since its beginning”.
Both the opposition party and the government’s party have been conducting attacks against civilians who should not be involved in the conflict, including “rape, sexual assaults, arbitrary arrest and detention, deprivation of liberty and others”, says the report published Friday. Moreover, U.N. staff and peacekeeping facilities have also been attacked.
The report concluded that these cases must be classified as war crimes or crimes against humanity since the attacks occur in different areas, when parties take control of them. Satellite images have also confirmed that towns and villages are being destroyed by government forces and militia, across the country.
“The report recommends that the Human Rights Council continues to monitor developments in the country and considers the establishment of a dedicated mechanism on South Sudan to report on progress towards accountability and on the human rights situation.”
The report is also requesting to the South Sudan’s Transitional Government of National Unit, that has not been established yet, to stop current violations and abuses of the rights of children, eliminate sexual-based violence and respect civil society.
Source: U.N. Press Release