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.


Featured image:

South Sudan 022” by Steve EvansFlickr: South Sudan 022. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.

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.