UN to probe 142 individuals over atrocities in South Sudan

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Up to 142 individuals in South Sudan will be probed for grave human rights abuses and other acts amounting to war crimes, including massacres, torture, abductions, detentions, looting, burning of villages and forced displacement – as well as rape and sexual violence.

The list was detailed by Yasmin Sooka, chairwoman of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, in her report on Friday (Mar. 18) to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Ms. Sooka said the people on the list warranted “investigation for a range of crimes under national and international law, including for their roles in the politically motivated violence”.

A civil war broke out in South Sudan 2013 when President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar fell out, leading to a deadly conflict that forced about four million people from their homes.

The two formed a unity government in 2020, but this has not stopped politically incited and ethnic violence.

Ms. Sooka said the crimes the commission was investigating reflected the intense competition for power and territory by political elites.

The identities of the individuals to be investigated were withheld – but Ms. Sooka has previously said people from both sides in the unity government have been implicated.

She said impunity was the root cause of South Sudan’s problems, as the country reached a critical point in its transition timetable with elections due next year.

The government has not yet responded to her comments. (Source: BBC)

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