Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

South Sudan sentences S.African to hang for helping rebel chief

South Sudan sentences S.African to hang for helping rebel chief South Sudan sentences S.African to hang for helping rebel chief
Melinda Barton | 24 February, 2018, 08:57

The latest report on human rights abuses in South Sudan's five-year civil war, released on Friday by a United Nations commission, for the first time identifies more than 40 senior military officials, including three state governors, "who may bear individual responsibility for war crimes" and crimes against humanity.

Civilians have been tortured and mutilated, and villages destroyed on an industrial scale, it said. Among accounts it accumulated was one from a South Sudanese man who said he had been hiding in the bush and returned home to find that government soldiers had gouged out the eyes of his wife with spears when she tried to stop them from raping their 17-year-old daughter.

A South Sudan court on Friday sentenced to death by hanging a South African national and security advisor to rebel leader Riek Machar.

"Holding those in charge in South Sudan accountable for the intentional suffering they inflict on their own people is crucial to stemming this humanitarian catastrophe", said Commissioner Andrew Clapham.

United Nations investigators have collected evidence of human rights violations to hold more than 40 South Sudanese military officials accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The same woman also saw her husband being castrated. It said that examining only part of this evidence had helped it identify 38 high-ranking military officers and three state governors responsible for serious rights violations and global crimes.

The report said numerous cases were "reminiscent of Bosnia", in particular the accounts of civilians who were forced to rape their relatives.

"What we see so far is likely just the tip of the iceberg". She said she was detained with the decomposing bodies of the victims, including her husband's decapitated body.

He adds it is "for the most part by government forces, who should be pursued for crimes against humanity".

Endley was convicted of conspiracy, supplying weapons, espionage, waging an insurgency, sabotage, terrorism and illegal entry into South Sudan.

The plan is to take the evidence of crimes against humanity to a new hybrid court which is due to be set up by the South Sudanese authorities in partnership with the African Union.

Co-authored by the UN Mission in the country (UNMISS) and the Organisation's human rights wing, OHCHR, the report also warned that incitement to hatred continues to cause mistrust, fear and violence as well as of a growing climate of self-censorship in the world's youngest country. "It's not a closed list", Mr. Clapham told reporters in Geneva.

"We would want the UNHCR to furnish us with information leading to the arrest of those 40 officials and we will make sure those 40 are brought to book". The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of, its sponsors or advertisers.