Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

South Sudan Government Forces Blamed for 114 Civilian Deaths

South Sudan Government Forces Blamed for 114 Civilian Deaths

In July 2016, violence erupted between Government and Opposition forces, which led to the departure of Opposition leader Riek Machar together with a small group of followers across the Equatorias, into the Democratic Republic of Congo.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir (C) attends a ceremony marking the thirty fourth anniversary of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) at the military headquarters in Juba, South Sudan May 18, 2017.

Tens of thousands of people have died in the civil war, and more than three million people have been uprooted.

"Some of the human rights violations and abuses committed in and around Yei may amount to war crimes and/or crimes against humanity", the report added.

The report released Friday by the United Nations human rights office says the 114 cases in the town of Yei between July and January may amount to crimes against humanity.

South Sudan revealed on Friday that 40 rebels were killed in the latest clash on Thursday in Bieh state's Waat area. But the SPLA helped ethnic Dinka civilians - the same ethnicity of President Kiir - to move to the capital, providing military and civilian vehicles for transport. The extent of the abuses by armed opposition groups remains unclear due to lack of access to areas where these groups are active.

"The 40 rebels killed were from the rebel side, and two people from our side were injured in the fighting".

A spokesman for the South Sudanese army, known as the SPLA, told Reuters the report was "baseless".

"The conflict in Yei once again highlights the startling level of impunity in South Sudan, which has fed successive cycles of violence across the country", said the report, the result of a joint investigation by the U.N.'s peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the organization's human rights branch.

South Sudan's conflict has proceeded along ethnic lines-President Kiir is from the majority Dinka, while Machar is a Nuer, an ethnic minority-and has raised fears of a genocide similar to the one that occurred in Rwanda in 1994.

"It is indeed unfortunate that the first troops associated with the RPF have only begun to arrive eight months after they were initially mandated by the Security Council", Guterres said in the report.

"Attacks were committed with an alarming degree of brutality and, like elsewhere in the country, appeared to have an ethnic dimension", said a report on the findings of an investigation conducted by the UN.
About 180,000 more were registered in Uganda by the first week of February 2017.

Domic said President Kiir had given orders to punish soldiers who commit rape.

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