News / Africa

US Accuses Both Sides in South Sudan of Abuses

MSF personnel found medical supplies strewn around Leer Hospital when they visited recently. (Courtesy Michael Goldfarb/MSF)MSF personnel found medical supplies strewn around Leer Hospital when they visited recently. (Courtesy Michael Goldfarb/MSF)
x
MSF personnel found medical supplies strewn around Leer Hospital when they visited recently. (Courtesy Michael Goldfarb/MSF)
MSF personnel found medical supplies strewn around Leer Hospital when they visited recently. (Courtesy Michael Goldfarb/MSF)
The United States has accused both sides in South Sudan’s violent political conflict, which has seen thousands killed and hundreds of thousands displaced since mid-December, of engaging in human rights abuses.
 
The accusations came in the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which was released this week in Washington.
 
A power struggle within South Sudan’s ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), turned into an armed conflict starting in the capital city, Juba, on December 15 after President Salva Kiir accused the former vice president, Riek Machar, of an attempted coup. Machar denies the accusation.
 
Speaking at the State Department Thursday, Uzra Zeya, Acting Assistant Secretary for Human Rights, said, “In the world’s newest country, South Sudan, security forces on all sides committed brutal acts against civilians from killing to torture to rape amid a climate of impunity.”
 
The report accused “government security forces, rebel militia groups (RMGs), and rival ethnic communities” of killing and abusing civilians, forcing many to flee their homes.

According to the report, the conflict immediately turned traditional rival ethnic groups against each other resulting in targeted killings in Juba and elsewhere. The violence mainly involved Dinkas, the country’s largest ethnic group, and the second largest community, the Nuer.

The State Department also warned that, “Since the outbreak of conflict on December 15, there were reports of forced conscription by government forces and recruitment and use of child soldiers by both government and antigovernment forces.” South Sudan’s armed forces, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), used child soldiers during its two-decade conflict with Sudan, which ended in 2005 and resulted in independence in 2011.

Human Rights groups have warned about deteriorating conditions and abuses in South Sudan, as fighting continues despite a ceasefire that was signed in January in Ethiopia.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) reported earlier this week that hospitals in the towns of Leer and Malakal had been destroyed and that some patients at the Malakal Training Hospital showed “signs they had been shot dead while lying in their beds,” according to Raphael Gorgeu, the MSF head of mission in South Sudan.

In a press release this week, the Africa Director of Human Rights Watch, Daniel Bekele, said, “Both sides need to stop their forces from committing abuses and hold those who have responsible for their actions, and the African Union  should accelerate its long promised investigations.”

The A.U. announced in January that it was setting up a panel to investigate human rights violations since the fighting began.

The government and opposition forces have accused each other of abuses.

According to United Nation’s estimates, some 900,000 have been displaced in South Sudan since the conflict broke out, with nearly 200,000 seeking refuge in neighboring countries.

Internationally mediated negotiations to reach a political solution to South Sudan’s conflict continue in Ethiopia.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ali akcay from: Uk
March 10, 2014 12:19 PM
USA GOVERNMENT ALSO MORALY RESPOSIBLE WHAT IS HAPPINING IN SOUTH SUDAN NOW, they should have setup an international committee to observe the activity of the government of South Sudan as soon as after UN declared the independence of the country, instead of leasing the agricultural land of South Sudan for a long term interest of the western countries. another example of people destroyed for the interest of the western capitalist interest in Afrika, History will not be written by the winners any more, history will be recorded by the innocent people and when the right time comes the citizen of the world will speak the truth as I am speaking. thanks for readers of my comments with love and unity

by: Mbanana from: South Sudan
March 02, 2014 9:25 PM
the US has gone completely insane... what has gone wrong with America..?? can't you see Islamic depravity and cruel brutality when you see it..??

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More