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

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    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..??

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora