S Sudan promises probe into claims girls raped, burnt alive

2015-07-05 20:34
(Samir Bol, AFP)

(Samir Bol, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Juba - South Sudan's government said on Sunday it was investigating UN allegations that its troops raped then burnt girls alive inside their homes during recent fighting in the country's civil war.

In a report released on Tuesday, rights investigators from the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said the 18-month-old war had seen "new brutality and intensity", including gang rape, torture and gruesome murders.

"We have read the report and these egregious acts could only have been carried out by egregious individuals. Our army punishes with impunity any acts that deviate from the normal conducts of war," South Sudan's military spokesperson Philip Aguer said in a statement.

"Our army was created to protect our women and children, ensure their safety and their dignity. If in fact the UN report is accurate, then the few individuals responsible for these heinous crimes have brought shame to the SPLA and that will not be tolerated," he added.

The spokesperson said "anyone deemed to have participated in these horrific crimes will be brought to justice before our court system and before God”.

Civil war began in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of planning a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings that have split the poverty-stricken, landlocked country along ethnic lines.

The government side, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), launched a major offensive against rebel forces in April, with fierce fighting in northern Unity state's northern Mayom district, once a key oil producing area.

The UN report was based on horrific accounts from 115 victims and eyewitnesses. Investigators said they had collected at least nine separate incidents where "women and girls were burnt in tukuls [huts] after being gang-raped" as well as scores of cases of sexual violence, which included numerous cases of mothers raped in front of their children.

Others were simply "shot and killed" after being gang-raped, it added.

Rebel forces have also been accused of carrying out widespread atrocities, including rape, killings and, like the government, the recruitment of armies of child soldiers.

The rebels meanwhile said in a statement reporting fresh clashes in northern Upper Nile State, another key oil hub, that a helicopter gunship had been shot down during an attempt by government troops to retake the state capital of Malakal.

The rebels also claimed to have battled government troops in the southern town of Nimule which guards the main border crossing with Uganda, a key government ally that has troops inside South Sudan backing Kiir.

Their statement said they "will be forced to close the trade route between Uganda and South Sudan at the Nimule border unless Salva Kiir's government accepts peace and signs an agreement”.

There was no immediate comment from the government on the rebel claims.

Read more on:    salva kiir  |  south sudan  |  central africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.