World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN: Gross Rights Abuses Committed In South Sudan Conflict

New York, May 8 2014 2:00PM

Gross Rights Abuses Committed By Both Sides In South Sudan Conflict, UN Report Finds

Gross human rights abuses have been committed by both sides in the brutal conflict that erupted in South Sudan at the end of last year, including rapes, mass killings and torture, and, according to a new United Nations report released today, civilians were not only caught up in the violence, they were directly targeted, often along ethnic lines.

“Based on thorough documentation and investigations, there are reasonable grounds to believe that gross violations of international human rights and humanitarian law have been committed by both parties to the conflict,” warned a report prepared by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), which cites the conflict’s “devastating” impact on civilians, who have suffered mightily through attacks on hospitals and churches, and acts of sexual violence perpetrated against women of different ethnic groups.

The report provides a comprehensive account of human rights violations and atrocities perpetrated during the hostilities that engulfed South Sudan since 15 December 2013 and follows up on the interim report released by the Mission on 21 February.

Primarily based on more than 900 interviews with eye witnesses and victims, the report provides a succinct timeline of the conflict, which was sparked by a political dispute between President Salva Kiir, who belongs to the Dinka ethnic group, and former vice-president Riek Machar, who belongs to the Lou Nuer, and finds that “from the very outset…gross violations of international law…occurred on a massive scale.”

These findings were echoed by UNMISS chief Hilde Johnson in an interview earlier today with UN Radio, in which she said “grave violations and atrocities” have been committed by both sides as the fighting has spread through the country’s four states. She cited two “particularly horrific” incidents covered in the report – a mass killing early on in the conflict in a police station near Juba, and the killing of some 200 people in Bentiu two weeks ago.

In both instances, the killings were “clearly ethnically motivated,” she said, underscoring that “the need for accountability is absolutely essential…the perpetrators of such acts need to be held to account.”

Ms. Johnson said the report also tells the story of the conflict’s impact on the civilian population. “It shows attacks against women, children, the elderly and disabled,” she said, decrying not only “the ferocity of the abuses but the fact that incidents have been perpetrated where these vulnerable are being targeted equally – if not more than – fighting forces.”

“This is what is so sad and so enraging,” she said, reiterating the report’s call for an immediate end to the violence, and urging both parties to shoulder their responsibility to make this happen.

The report goes on to note that South Sudan has never undertaken a comprehensive, independent, and effective accountability process since it attained independence. As such, long-standing impunity and failure to treat killings, sexual and gender-based violence, and other gross human rights and humanitarian law violations as crimes, reinforces the cycle of conflict.

“Accountability is critical to end the legacy of impunity in South Sudan and prevent similar atrocities in the future. There can be no reconciliation without accountability. We call for a credible peace process that will lead to national healing and reconciliation,” said Ms. Johnson.

The conclusions call for further investigations and UNMISS welcomes both national and regional initiatives along these lines. Such investigations must 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, the report concludes.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gaza: Pledges For Aid, Reconstruction Must Be Honoured

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Security Council President for the month of October, María Cristina Perceval of Argentina, is at ... More>>

Ebola: UN Prepares For Arrival Of Trial Vaccines

In early October 2014, with the help of the US Navy, a new mobile laboratory opened at Island Clinic, one of the WHO-supported Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: WHO/R. Sørenson More>>

Palestine: Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahmah Found Guilty

Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma was found guilty by an Israeli military court of “disturbing a soldier”. More>>

NCRI: Iran: 13 Executions In One Day

The henchmen of the clerical regime hanged 13 prisoners on Sunday October 19, 2014 in Ghezel-Hessar Karaj Prison, Tabriz Central Prison and Rasht Central Prison. More>>


MSF: Ebola Crisis Update - 16th October 2014

16 October 2014 Cases Deaths Guinea 1,472 843 Liberia 4,249 2,458 Nigeria 20 8 Sierra Leone 3,252 1,183 Senegal 1 0 Total 8,994 4,492 WHO Figures - Data are based on official information reported by Ministries of Health. These numbers are subject to change ... More>>

ALSO:

Detroit: City-Backed Water Shut-Offs Contrary To Human Rights

20 October 2014 – The city of Detroit must restore access to water for its citizens who remain unable to pay their bills, two United Nations experts urged today, adding that a failure to do so would be a violation of the most basic human rights of those ... More>>

ALSO:

DR Congo: Head Of UN Mission Condemns Deadly Rebel Attacks

A MONUSCO APC is greeted by FARDC soldiers on their way back from the front line in the Beni region of the DRC where the UN is backing the FARDC in an operation against ADF militia. Photo: MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti More>>

UNESCO Chief Denounces Killing Of Cambodian Journalist

17 October 2014 – The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today denounced the killing of a Cambodian reporter shot while investigating illegal logging in the eastern part of the country. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news