|South Sudan government soldiers in the town of Koch, Unity state, South Sudan, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. (Photo AP/Jason Patinkin)|
South Sudanese army killed 232 civilians in April-May attacks: UN report
JUBA (SUDAN TRIBUNE) – South Sudanese army and its allied militias have been accused of killing over two hundreds civilians, committing rape and burning villages in a series of attacks carried out in southern Unity region from 16 April to 24 May 2018.
According to the report, the reason behind these attacks which took place after the signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement in December 2017 was to increase territories under Government control.
“Government interlocutors had repeatedly warned of their intent to recapture areas recently occupied by SPLA-IO (Riek Machar) forces, and to open supply route between Bentiu and the SPLA position in Leer,” stressed the report.
The report further pointed out that the nature of the operation indicates that the purpose of the attacks was not only to drive out the SPLA-Io fighters but also to forcefully displace civilians.
UNMISS and aid groups estimate that 1,995 people including 1,350 children, were forcibly displaced to the UN protection site in Leer, while 3,415 individuals arrived at the Bentiu Protection of Civilian site. Also, around 8,000 displaced civilians are sheltering in the bush and swamps south-east of Leer, in addition to some 18,000 displaced in Mayendit town.
The UNMISS human rights monitors identified three officials that may bear the greatest responsibility for the gross violations committed during that period.
The Gany County commissioner, one SPLA-IO (Taban Deng) commander (Lieutenant General) and one SPLA commander (colonel) from the SPLA Division IV in Bentiu, are cited in the report as the authorities had effective command and control of operations of the areas of attacks.