SOUTH SUDAN government troops and allied fighters killed at least 232 civilians in a five-week period this year, hanging some people from trees and burning others alive, the United Nations said Tuesday…..
The report says the “deliberate, ruthless” attacks may amount to war crimes.
Human rights monitors for the U.N. found that at least 120 women and girls were raped or gang-raped between April 16 and May 24. The rape victims included children as young as 4, and some sexual assault targets were shot dead for resisting, the U.N. monitors reported.
The report states that”one 20-year-old woman was still bleeding from childbirth when she was raped.
Other findings from the five-week tally were:
-At least 132 women and girls were abducted for suspected sex slavery or servitude.
— Some elderly, sick and disabled people who could not flee were burned alive.
— At least 10 children, including a 7-day-old baby, drowned in swamps as people fled.
— In all, more than 30,000 people were displaced during a “scorched-earth” campaign in opposition-held areas in Leer and Mayendit, part of a South Sudan military operation after clashes with the rebels.
The intent was to “cleanse those areas,” the report said, citing accounts from more than 75 interviews with victims and witnesses.
“There must be consequences for the men who reportedly gang-raped a 6-year-old child, who slit the throats of elderly villagers, who hanged women for resisting looting, and shot fleeing civilians in the swamps where they hid,” U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a statement.
He called on South Sudan and the African Union to establish a long-delayed hybrid court to help hold perpetrators accountable.
The report comes as South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar hold talks in pursuit of a new peace agreement while international pressure grows on them either to end the fighting or face possible U.N. or regional sanctions.