UN: Civilians targeted in South Sudan violence

UN: Civilians targeted in South Sudan violence
# 03 July 2019 21:13 (UTC +04:00)

More than 100 civilians were killed and almost the same number of women and girls were raped, in conflict-ridden Central Equatorian region of South Sudan, following the signing of the peace agreement, a UN report said on Wednesday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

The new report by the Human Rights Division of the UN Mission in South Sudan has listed 95 incidents of violations from September 2018 until April 2019.

These incidents included 30 attacks on villages leading to the killing of 104 civilians and injuring 35 as well, besides the abduction of 187 people.

"The violence has led to the displacement of more than 56,000 civilians within South Sudan, and nearly 20,000 more pushed across the border to Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo," it said.


The report identifies three groups of perpetrators responsible for targeting civilians. They included two opposition armed groups who are not signatories to the peace agreement and the group led by former Vice President Riek Machar, besides the government forces.


“At least 150 civilians were also held in captivity by these groups, including women and girls taken as wives by commanders or raped and beaten by multiple fighters," it said.


The report blamed government forces for carrying out a coordinated campaign to displace civilians from areas perceived to be providing material support to rebels.


Further, it pointed out that government forces were punishing those they suspected of being members or supporters of rebel groups, by subjecting them to sexual violence, as well as resorted to looting and destroying homes, churches, schools and health centers.


Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth described the report as a “usual cut and paste” done by agencies working in the country. 


“It is something which is repeated every time because these organizations cannot report that there is peace in South Sudan, otherwise they will lose their funding or job,” Lueth told Anadolu Agency on phone. 


South Sudan plunged into war in 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup.


Under the peace deal signed last year, Kiir had agreed to set up a unity government with Machar. But the formation of the new government, initially scheduled to take office on May 12, was postponed for six months.