News / Africa

US Report Cites South Sudan Human Rights Abuses

US State Department report cites serious rights abuses in South Sudan. US State Department report cites serious rights abuses in South Sudan.
US State Department report cites serious rights abuses in South Sudan.
US State Department report cites serious rights abuses in South Sudan.

South Sudan is falling far short in stopping serious human rights abuses including extrajudicial killings, torture, rape and arbitrary arrest, the U.S. State Department said in a report released Friday.

The report painted a grim picture of human rights in the world's newest nation, saying the South Sudanese government "restricted the movement of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and NGO workers were sometimes attacked and harassed.

"Violence and discrimination against women and children by government actors and within communities were widespread.

"Trafficking in persons, discrimination and violence against selected ethnic groups, governmental incitement of tribal violence, and child labor, including forced labor, also occurred," it said.

The security forces were singled out for allegedly committing serious human rights abuses, "including  extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, intimidation, and other inhumane treatment of civilians."

Other abuses included "lack of access to justice, including arbitrary arrest, prolonged pretrial detention, and corruption within the justice sector; and conflict-related abuses, including continuing abuse and displacement of civilians as a result of fighting between Sudanese and South Sudanese forces, rebel militia groups opposing the government, and rival ethnic communities," says the report.

In some cases, the report alleges that beatings and other violence carried otu by the security forces were ethnically motivated.

The government was chided for restricting freedoms of privacy, speech, press, assembly and association.

Smith College professor Eric Reeves, who for the past 14 years has been working as a Sudan researcher and analyst, called the report harsh, sometimes warranted, but sometimes imbalanced. He singled out Jonglei State as one of the areas where rights abuses were widespread.

"The fighting, the civilian destruction in Jonglei is energized by David Yau Yau, who is getting his weapons and his supplies from Khartoum," he said, referring to the leader of a rebel movement, active in Jonglei state, that has been accused of killing civilians and U.N. peacekeepers.

Reeves faulted the South Sudanese government for allowing rule of law to break down.

"Extrajudicial executions really must be conrolled. The rule of law, that's the first order of business. Without rule of law, South Sudan can't make any progress and there, I think it's fair to fault the leadership for not being more decisive. Same goes for corruption," he said.

The report would likely have the effect of diminishing investment in South Sudan, he said.

2012 -- the year the report released on Friday looked at -- was the first full year for which South Sudan's human rights record was monitored, following the country's independence in July 2011.

The State Department has compiled reports about human rights in numerous countries around the world for 36 years.

You May Like

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs