26th September 2020
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Civilians killed, raped by gov’t & opposition forces in Yei area – UN report

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: Thursday, July 4, 2019

South Sudanese soldiers pose for a photograph | File photo

A UN report suggests that more than 100 people were killed and over 100 women and girls raped after the signing of the revitalized peace agreement last year.

The UNMISS human rights division said it has documented 95 separate incidents of violations and abuses in the period from September 2018 until April 2019.

These incidents include 30 attacks on villages that led to the killing of 104 civilians and wounding 35 others.

It said at least 187 people were also abducted.

The violence led to the displacement of more than 56,000 civilians within South Sudan, and nearly 20,000 more across the border to Uganda and DR Congo.

The latest report says the atrocities were committed by government forces, SPLA-IO, National Salvation Front or NAS and the South Sudan National Movement for Change or SSNMC.

It says the SPLA-IO, NAS, and SSNMC were responsible for killing at least 61 civilians, who were either deliberately targeted or victims of indiscriminate fire during clashes.

At least 150 civilians were also held in captivity by these groups, including women and girls taken as “wives” by commanders or raped and beaten by multiple fighters.

The UN human rights division report also suggests that in January this year, the government launched military operations to dislodge so-called “rebels” from the Central Equatoria region.

Both the government and Opposition have rubbished the report.

Lul Ruai Koang, the SSPDF spokesperson described the UN report as “baseless”

“The biggest problem has been lack of evidence, giving a figure or a number of people killed or wounded is not enough.”

“We must have concrete information indicating when these atrocities were committed and where so that we use the information they had collected to pinpoint locations where we might have had our forces deployed. It remains as a report.”

Also reacted to the report, Colonel Lam Gabriel, the acting spokesperson has said it was not conducted based on what happened on the ground.

“We were not the one carrying out the atrocities against civilians, instead, we are the one protecting the civilians.”

So the United Nations or maybe the human rights group should really know exactly how to understand the situation that is happening in Yei river state, instead of blaming everyone.”

“We need them [UN] to give us dates and locations where we did those things so that we have to investigate. We need to find out the truth, the truth is going on the ground.”

The South Sudan National Movement for Change or SSNMC is yet to comment on the matter.

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