News / Africa

S. Sudan Army Denies Soldiers Killed Jonglei Civilians

The South Sudan army denies that soldiers have killed Murle civilians in Jonglei state, where it is fighting rebels led by David Yau Yau, shown here.The South Sudan army denies that soldiers have killed Murle civilians in Jonglei state, where it is fighting rebels led by David Yau Yau, shown here.
x
The South Sudan army denies that soldiers have killed Murle civilians in Jonglei state, where it is fighting rebels led by David Yau Yau, shown here.
The South Sudan army denies that soldiers have killed Murle civilians in Jonglei state, where it is fighting rebels led by David Yau Yau, shown here.
Philip Aleu
South Sudan army officials have dismissed as an exaggeration the findings of a Human Rights Watch report that accuses soldiers of killing scores of members of the Murle community in Jonglei state, most of them civilians, since December 2012, 

In the report, titled "They Are Killing Us," Human Rights Watch says the  Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) "has committed serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law" since December last year in its battle against rebels in Jonglei state led by David Yau Yau.

"SPLA soldiers have unlawfully killed at least 96 people, mostly civilians, from the Murle ethnic group during the conflict, and they have engaged in widespread looting of homes, clinics, schools and churches," the report says.

But SPLA Information Director Malak Ayuen Ajol denied the allegations, insisting that the army is instead trying to protect civilians in Jonglei's restive Pibor County from militants led by Yau Yau.

"We are not targeting the Murle... We are targeting the armed civilian population... we went into Pibor to disarm the armed civilian population," he said.

“We are trying actually to see how best the army will fight the rebels or the armed civilians and also try to see whether there is a way where other civilians who are not involved, like women, like children, are not part of the whole thing,” he said.

While he did acknowledge that innocent people may have accidentally been killed during clashes with Yau Yau's rebels, he denied that the number of dead was anywhere near the figure of 96, which was cited in the report.

Ayuen said he suspects many of the people described in the report as civilians had in fact joined Yau Yau's rebel group, which has been fighting to overthrow the government in Juba for more than a year.

"These are civilians with their guns. They are fighting the government. So how do you really count them as civilians if they are armed and they are fighting the government?” he said.

The report cites several incidents involving the SPLA to make its case, including one in December 2012, when soldiers allegedly executed 13 men who were playing a board game in Lotho village.

Defense Minister Kuol Manyang said SPLA leaders will look the into allegations in the report.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters 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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs