4 S Sudan soldiers arrested over village rape spree

2017-03-03 19:31


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Juba - Four South Sudanese soldiers have been arrested over the mass rape of about a dozen women and girls in one village last month, the army spokesperson said on Friday.

The incident took place in Kubi some 40km south of Juba as soldiers raided the village looking for suspects in the killing of an army general by unidentified gunmen.

Local media reported the soldiers had gone on a rampage, raping and torturing at least 11 women, including a 13-year-old girl.

"Investigations were carried out and four SPLA (Sudan People's Liberation Army) officers were arrested," said spokesperson Brigadier General Lul Ruai Koang.

One of those detained is the commander of the men accused of carrying out the sexual assaults, and will not himself face rape charges.

Another suspect had been arrested but managed to escape from a detention facility.

Koang said that the three accused of rape had been identified by the victims in a line-up and later confessed.

In their defence one soldier claimed to have been misled by Satan, while the others argued they were drunk.

"Let our people rest assured that SPLA will keep on doing its best to ensure that rogue soldiers are punished for crimes they commit," Koang said.

President Salva Kiir's troops and allied militia have been accused of ethnic massacres, rape and sexual slavery, looting, pillage and the forced recruitment of child soldiers in the country's three-year long civil war.

Rebels have perpetrated similar crimes.

The conflict broke out in 2013 after Kiir accused his rival and former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup against him.

A brief peace deal was left in tatters when fierce battles erupted in Juba in July last year.

The army announced in October it had arrested and convicted some 80 soldiers accused of looting and murder in the capital during the outbreak of fighting.

However none have been held for the widespread rape of locals and several Western aid workers.

Read more on:    riek machar  |  salva kiir  |  south sudan  |  east africa

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