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

 

Breaking: Israel Shelling Beit Hanoun Hospital

The Israeli military have started to shell and shoot at Beit Hanoun hospital. There are still 61 medical staff and civilians, three patients and two International Solidarity Movement volunteers trapped inside. More>>

UN: Urgent Action To End Female Genital Mutilation UN: Urgent Action To End Female Genital Mutilation

New UN data shows need for urgent action to end female genital mutilation, child marriage More>>

World News: SRI LANKA: Justice Denied To Two Child Victims Of Rape
There have been reports of an alleged abduction and rape of an eleven-year-old girl by a group of Navy officers, and of another nine-year-old girl treated in a similar manner. More>>

‘Global Epidemic’ Of Anti-Semitism NGO Urges UN To Condemn ‘global Epidemic’ Of Anti-Semitism

French riot police officers face rioters in Sarcelles, a suburb north of Paris, on July 20, 2014. More>>


IDF Falsifies Photograph To Justify Bombing El-Wafa Hospital IDF Falsifies Photograph To Justify Bombing El-Wafa Hospital

On the 21st July at 2:17 PM, the IDF spokesperson released an image on twitter showing an aerial picture of a building marked as ‘Al-Wafa’ hospital. In the image there is a red circle, which they designated as the location from which a M75 rocket was ... More>>

MH17: Black Boxes Recovered by Malaysian Government

'Following the agreement Prime Minister Najib Razak brokered with rebel leaders, Malaysia has taken custody of flight MH17's black boxes. As the Prime Minister said, they will be passed to the international investigation team for analysis. More>>

ALSO:


Gaza Update On 15th Day Of The Israeli Offensive

Dozens of Palestinian Civilians Killed or Wounded as Israeli Forces Attack Apartment Buildings, Mosques, Hospitals and Schools; White Phosphorous Bombs and Flechette Shells Fired by Israeli Forces in Border Areas... More>>

Al Jazeera: Egypt Verdict Defies Logic And Any Semblance Of Justice

Following today’s verdict in Cairo, Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said: “Today three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. More>>


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news