South Sudan: UN identifies military officials accused of war crimes

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United Nations investigators say they have identified more than 40 South Sudanese military officials accused of committing war comes and crimes against humanity.

The investigators, who are from the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, interviewed hundreds of witnesses, used satellite images and references almost 60,000 documents covering events in South Sudan since the country’s civil war began in December 2013.

UN identifies army officials

The United Nation’s report, which was released on Friday, cites “individual command responsibility for widespread or systematic attacks on civilians” by dozens of military officials, including eight lieutenant generals, and three state governors.

The UN’s findings describe “appalling instances of cruelty against civilians who have had their eyes gouged out, their throats slit or been castrated” during five major battles between government troops and armed rebels during 2016 and 2017.

One member of the commision involved in the study said their findings reveal “a clear pattern of ethnic persecution, for the most part by government forces who should be pursued for crimes against humanity.”

Mawien Makol, a spokesman for South Sudan’s foreign ministry, has said the government will punish anyone found to have committed war crimes but there have been few prosecutions of military or government officials for crimes documented against civilians.

“The government will prosecute anyone responsible for any crimes. This is a responsible government,” Makol said.

Featured image: By Wilfried Huss / Anonymous – Flag of the United Nations from the Open Clip Art website. Modifications by Denelson83, Zscout370 and Madden. Official construction sheet here.United Nations (1962) The United Nations flag code and regulations, as amended November 11, 1952, New York OCLC: 7548838., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=437460

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.