South Sudan: UN accuses South Sudan forces of rape and killing

| March 21, 2016

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The United Nations human rights office has accused South Sudan’s government of operating a “scorched earth policy” of deliberate rape, pillage, and killing of civilians during the civil war in 2015.

A recently-published UN report says that between April and September 2015, more than 1,300 cases of rape were reported in South Sudan’s Unity State alone. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, says the number of rapes described in the report must only be a “snapshot of the real total.”

The report also estimates that in the 12 months ending in November 2015, there were an estimated 10,553 civilian deaths in Unity State. The killings appeared to be deliberate, systematic, and based on ethnicity.

The report said that all sides of the conflict, which began in December 2013, have committed atrocities that may amount to crimes against humanity, but that government forces were most responsible.

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Photo: ‘Women-friendly’ tent inside Protection of Civilian camp in Malakal, South Sudan. Credit: Ashley Hamer/Al Jazeera