News / Africa

Rights Group Calls for Probe After Cluster Bombs Found in South Sudan

Jonglei, South Sudan
Jonglei, South Sudan
Lucy Poni
— Human Rights Watch has called on Kampala and Juba to investigate new evidence that cluster bombs have been used in South Sudan’s ongoing conflict after United Nations experts found remnants of the banned weapons near Bor in Jonglei state.

“The young nation of South Sudan has enough problems without these horrific weapons, which kill and keep on killing long afterward,” said Steve Goose, arms division director at Human Rights Watch (HRW) and chair of the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC).

“The governments involved should quickly find out who is behind this and make clear they will be held responsible,” he said in a statement.

The UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) found up to eight cluster bomb remnants and an unspecified number of unexploded submunitions, called "bomblets", by a stretch of road 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Bor, in an area "not known to be contaminated" before fighting broke out in South Sudan in mid-December, HRW said.

"The UN experts concluded that this was a recent use of cluster bombs, because they have been up and down this road in the past," Human Rights Watch Deputy Director Leslie Lefkow said.

Bor has changed hands at least four times in clashes between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and opposition forces. 

The Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) has been supporting South Sudan’s government forces, including with air power, HRW said.

Both South Sudanese and Ugandan forces have the capacity to drop the types of cluster munitions found near Bor, while, "As far as we know, the opposition forces in South Sudan do not have air capacity,” Lefkow said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week condemned the use of cluster bombs in the South Sudan conflict, but has not indicated who the UN believes was responsible.

Both Juba and Kampala have denied using cluster bombs, which are banned by an international treaty to which Uganda is a signatory. 

Uganda’s army spokesman Paddy Ankunda said he would welcome an investigation into the use of the banned munitions in South Sudan, adding that Uganda was not responsible for the use of the bombs near Bor.
.
“We don’t have cluster bombs. We don’t intend to possess them and we have not used them anywhere. Let them investigate," Ankunda said.

Cluster munitions are designed to explode in the air, sending shrapnel over a wide area. Eighty-four countries have ratified the 2008 convention prohibiting the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of the weapons.

Lefkow said the cluster bomb remnants found near Bor are particularly dangerous because they can still be triggered weeks after they were dropped, which potentially puts civilians at risk as they return to their homes.

Bonifacio Taban and Karin Zeitvogel contributed to this report from Kampala and Washington D.C.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid