Violence kills 173 civilians in South Sudan – UN report

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The UN says no fewer than 173 civilians have been killed in South Sudan for a four-month period of violence while human rights violations is reported committed in Unity State.

As fighting continues in South Sudan, a new UN report released on Tuesday documents 173 civilian deaths over a four-month period along with widespread human rights violations committed without repercussion.

Published jointly by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the document reports gross abuses of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law in Unity state.

The report, which covers the period between February 11 and May 31, is based on 32 verification missions conducted by UNMISS in the three counties of Koch, Leer, and Mayendit as well as in neighboring areas.

The violence and incursions have displaced approximately 44,000 civilians from at least 26 villages.

In addition to those killed, hostilities in southern Unity State have affected at least 28 villages and settlements — with approximately 12 injured, and 37 women and children abducted.

Many abductees were subjected to sexual violence, including girls as young as eight-years-old.

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A total of 131 cases of rape and gang rape have been documented, including the case of one nine-year-old girl who was gang-raped to death.

UNMISS identified joint Government forces and allied militias/groups reportedly operating under the command of officials of Koch and Mayendit counties as the main perpetrators of the human rights violations and abuses.

The Secretary-General’s Head of Mission, Nicholas Haysom, said that human rights violations were committed with impunity.

“The government is duty-bound under international law to protect civilians, investigate allegations of human rights violations, and hold suspected perpetrators accountable in compliance with fair trial standards,” he said. (NAN)

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