News / Africa

UN Report Details S. Sudan Abuses

FILE - Slain bodies of civilians killed in renewed attacks lie along a road in Bentiu, Unity state of South Sudan.
FILE - Slain bodies of civilians killed in renewed attacks lie along a road in Bentiu, Unity state of South Sudan.
Margaret Besheer
The U.N. said Thursday it is likely that both the government and opposition have committed crimes against humanity in South Sudan during the power struggle that erupted in violence in December. 
 
Thousands of civilians have been killed and nearly a million have been uprooted from their homes since forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former vice president, Riek Machar, began fighting late last year.
 
In addition to the widespread killings, entire villages have been destroyed, livestock looted and personal possessions taken.
 
In a report released Thursday by the human rights division of the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the authors found that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that grave violations including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, rape, arbitrary arrests and targeted attacks have been committed by all parties to the conflict.
 
The report also says the widespread and systematic nature of many of these attacks, and the appearance of coordination and planning of them, gives reasonable grounds to believe that certain crimes against humanity may have been committed.
 
U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that the report recommends additional investigations.
 
“The report calls for further investigations and says that these should move quickly and lead to the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators.  They must also be conducted independently and in a transparent manner consistent with international standards and principles,” said Haq.
 
The 62-page study details attacks in several parts of the country and is based on more than 900 interviews with witnesses and survivors, many of whom reported the targeting of individuals based on their ethnicity. Nearly 90,000 civilians are sheltering at several U.N. bases across the country.
 
Last week, U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay told the Security Council that she warned President Kiir and Machar of their potential responsibility when she met with them in South Sudan.
 
“I warned them that they will inevitably be the subject of international investigations regarding the extent of their knowledge of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by subordinates under their authority and their failure to take reasonable steps to prevent such crimes,” said Pillay.
 
The report criticizes President Kiir’s government for failing to hold perpetrators accountable. It says that it is the government’s responsibility to investigate rights violations and prosecute perpetrators.  Although the government has acknowledged that violations were committed and established accountability mechanisms, the report warns that there are serious questions as to whether these measures will provide real accountability.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid