AU Report: Forced Cannibalism, Gang Rape and Mass Graves in S. Sudan
An African Union (AU) report on the civil war in South Sudan has cited evidence of gross human rights violations.
The accounts detail horrific incidents off mass killings, torture, mutilations and gang rape – plus occasions of forced cannibalism. The government and rebel forces are both blamed for prolonging violence in the country since the conflict erupted in December 2013.
Kiir’s coup claims brought into question
Civil war broke out in South Sudan in 2013, after President Salva Kiir accused opposition leader Riek Machar and his allies of an attempted coup. Machar has always denied the allegations and now the AU report backs up his version of events.
“From all the information available to the Commission, the evidence does not point to a coup,” reads the report. The AU report also accounts organised killings by Kiir’s forces in the early days of the crisis – throwing the President’s accounts into question.
South Sudanese caught in the middle
The violence in South Sudan hasn’t been one-sided though. Riek Machar and his rebel forces have also been accused of horrific violence in what has turned into a largely ethnic war.
The AU documents details of brutal violence against civilians who do not take part in the fighting. Mass killings, abductions of women, sexual violence and numerous other forms of abuses are cited in the report. Some witnesses are said to have seen people forced into drinking the blood and eating the flesh of people who had just been killed.
The report also says mass graves have been found by investigators, however it claims to have found no reasonable evidence of genocide in the conflict – despite the seemingly ethnic nature of violence.