Rights Group: South Sudan Army Violated Civilians in Wau

  • By jason patinkin, associated press, JUBA, South Sudan

South Sudanese government soldiers killed, raped, tortured, and detained dozens of civilians in and around Wau town in the country’s western Bahr el Ghazal state in recent months, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Tuesday.
The report described abuses by mostly ethnic Dinka government soldiers against civilians of the local Fertit ethnic groups.
Soldiers tortured young men with electric shocks, shot elderly people in their homes and raped women while making their relatives watch, it said.
The atrocities took place before the government and rebels formed a transitional coalition government last month, said the report.
With all eyes on South Sudan’s new coalition government in Juba, government soldiers have been “literally getting away with murder in the country’s western regions,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
Bekele called on the government to halt the abuses and support creation of a war crimes court to investigate those responsible for atrocities.
The army spokesman was unavailable for comment.
South Sudanese civil rights activist Edmund Yakani said the violence in Wau underscores the lack of progress toward peace despite the new coalition as some in the government are still trying to “clear out” any presence of opposition in the western Bahr el Ghazal area.
“Nothing is improved. It’s getting worse and worse,” Yakani said. “People are yearning for peace while violence is going on.”
South Sudan’s civil war began in 2013 pitting mostly Dinka government soldiers against mainly Nuer rebels and has killed tens of thousands of people. Both sides are accused of committing crimes against humanity.
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his rival, Vice President Riek Machar, last month formed a coalition government to try and halt the violence but the tensions continue to simmer.

One thought on “Rights Group: South Sudan Army Violated Civilians in Wau

  1. It is better for South Sudan government to regulate and keep in check with NGOs operating in South Sudan. NGOs must stick to their mandated mission, and they should not go out and report event issues that are sometime baseless, and troublesome. With this kind of report, sound like Southerners who turned crazy against Dinka and South Sudan’s government for no reason but jealousy, greedy and selfishness. NGOs are not journalisms in which their duty is to report the events. Some of the report given by unregulated organizations are the one fueling outgoing fighting in South Sudan in the past two years. Government of South Sudan must pay attention to these NGOs mission in the country by seeing what they do and say.

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