South Sudan army carried out rape and buried civilians alive: HRW 

S Sudan

July 23, Khartoum: South Sudan‘s government forces along with the allied armed groups carried out a series of horrific killings, rapes, including burning civilians alive and crushing others under tanks in devastating violence in the Unity State since May, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said in a new report released on Thursday.

Brutal offensive in rebel-held parts of the Unity State is the latest in a conflict characterised by shocking disregard for civilian life, HRW said. It accused the government troops of committing war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity during its offensive.

“Government-aligned forces carried out gruesome killings and widespread rapes and burned countless homes as they swept across large parts of Unity State,” Daniel Bekele, Africa director at HRWW, said.

The conflict in South Sudan began in December 2013, when clashes erupted between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those aligned to the former Vice President Riek Machar. Two million people have fled their homes, with 100,000 forced to flee since May alone.

The struggle between the two sides has been dominated by war crimes, including widespread killings of civilians because of their ethnicity or perceived allegiances, HRW said. The South Sudanese army and their allies in the Bul Nuer ethnic group forcibly displaced tens of thousands of people in Unity by attacking women, elderly, and children, while burning villages and stealing cattle, alleges the HRW.

The group said many of the attacks were against villages with no presence of rebel fighters.

The Oslo Times

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