News / Africa

    S. Sudan Army Accused of 'Serious Abuses' in Jonglei

    • The UN Mission in South Sudan helps to medevac people who were wounded in clashes in Jonglei state, from Manyabol to Bor, the state capital, on July 14.
    • Global rights group Human Rights Watch says the army of South Sudan has committed "serious abuses against civilians in its anti-insurgency campaign in Jonglei state" against rebels led by David Yau Yau, shown here. 
    • Internally displaced persons rest in Pibor, Jonglei state in Jan. 2012 after fleeing the surrounding areas following a wave of ethnic violence. A new wave of clashes in July 2013 between the Lou Nuer and Murle has displaced thousands and left an unknown number wounded or dead, according to Human Rights Watch.
    • Wounded fighters from the Lou Nuer ethnic group, most of whom suffered gunshot wounds from fighting with Murle in Jonglei state, recover at a hospital in the state capital Bor.
    • Jonglei, South Sudan.
    Charlton Doki

    The global rights group, Human Rights Watch, on Friday accused the army of South Sudan of committing "serious abuses against civilians in its anti-insurgency campaign in Jonglei state" and of taking sides in a bitter and deadly inter-ethnic conflict in the restive state.

    “Yet again the government of South Sudan has utterly failed to stop armed Lou Nuer youth from moving into ethnic Murle areas, despite advance warnings that they were mobilizing,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

    “This failure, together with a spate of serious abuses by soldiers in the area, only reinforces the perception that South Sudan’s leaders are taking sides in this ethnic conflict,” he said.

    The rights group said soldiers shot three local chiefs and five other men in the town of Manyabol in late May, and  have killed numerous civilians, including women and children, since the army launched an offensive several months ago against David Yau Yau, a rebel leader and an ethnic Murle.

    Army spokesman Philip Aguer denied the accusations.

    “The army has been fighting only insurgents. We do not fight civilians," he said.

    "Any deaths of civilians that have been reported,  we cannot accept because our soldiers have only been fighting the insurgents of Yau Yau. If there are people who are killed in crossfire then we need to examine that and see what happened and who was conducting operations in those areas.”

    The total number of casualties from heavy fighting earlier this month between the Lou Nuer and Murle is not known, but on Monday, the South Sudanese army and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) airlifted nearly 200 wounded Lou Nuer men to Bor, the state capital, for treatment, Human Rights Watch said.

    "Injured Murle, presumed to be in the hundreds, have yet to be located," it said. 

    The French medical charity, Doctors Without Borders, has said it and the International Committee of the Red Cross have treated 176 patients in Bor, including 128 people with gunshot wounds.

    Human Rights Watch accused the army of doing little to protect civilians in Jonglei, in spite of having a heavy troop presence in the state for the offensive against Yau Yau.

    But Aguer defended the military, saying it did not have the capacity to stop tribal clashes, especially in remote areas.

    “We cannot provide protection in every village because the type of village settlements we have are scattered, so that even if you have thousands of troops, it will be extremely difficult to protect each village," he said.

    The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Thursday that about 40,000 inhabitants have been displaced in Pibor county -- the heart of Yau Yau's insurrection and the army offensive to crush it.  All six major population centers in Pibor have been abandoned, at least 8,500 Murle are estimated to have fled to neighboring countries and around 7,000 to Juba.

    Yau Yau’s forces have contributed to the exodus and panic by attacking the town of Pibor and warning civilians to leave ahead of more threatened offensives.

    But dozens of displaced Murle interviewed by Human Rights Watch said they fled their homes not out of fear of the rebels, but of further killings and looting by South Sudanese soldiers.

    “We were hoping that the soldiers were coming to protect us (from Yau Yau’s forces), but instead they are killing us,” a Murle civilian from Pibor who fled to Juba was quoted as saying in the Human Rights Watch report.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora