The latest report from the United Nations on South Sudan states the armed forces raped and burned females alive. The world’s newest country is still in a civil war.
The United Nations mission in the country (UNMISS) accuses the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) of “widespread human rights abuses” against all citizens. They also believe the army displaced “over 100,000 people. Over 115 survivors revealed these facts to UNMISS:
“This recent upsurge [in fighting] has not only been marked by allegations of killing, rape, abduction, looting, arson and displacement, but by a new brutality and intensity,” says the UNMISS report. “The scope and level of cruelty that has characterized the reports suggests a depth of antipathy that exceeds political differences.”
“Revealing the truth of what happened offers the best hope for ensuring accountability for such terrible violence and ending the cycle of impunity that allows these abuses to continue,” the secretary-general’s special representative, Ellen Margrethe Løj, who also heads the UN Mission, said in a press release as she urged South Sudanese authorities to allow UN human rights investigators to access the sites of the alleged atrocities.
“We call on the SPLA to fulfill this commitment and allow our human rights officers unfettered access to the sites of these reported violations.”
Some weeks ago, UNICEF reported the SPLA and the South Sudan Liberation Army killed as many as 129 children in May “to keep their generation from exacting revenge on their attackers.” Christopher Tidey, communications officer at UNICEF, said, “It seems that in a lot of these cases the children were targeted. The logic is that they don’t want the children to grow up to be the next generation who will then pick up the fight or exact some sort of revenge.”
Tidey said the soldiers murdered one girl because they “could not decide on who would rape the victim first.”
“So the child was killed to resolve the dispute,” he stated.
Those who survive are forced into military duty with their attackers.
“Children are also being aggressively recruited into armed groups of both sides on an alarming scale – an estimated 13,000 children forced to participate in a conflict not of their making,” he continued. “Imagine the psychological and physical effects on these children – not only of the violence inflicted on them but also the violence they are forced to inflict on others.”
Despite the reports from the United Nations, refugee camps in South Sudan are in horrible condition. In August 2014, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) revealed the horrid conditions at a United Nations camp in Bentiu, South Sudan. Over 40,000 refugees call the camp home due to a bloody civil war.
“Much of the camp was flooded in July with the first heavy downpour of the rainy season,” said MSF emergency coordinator Ivan Gayton. “Over one thousand makeshift shelters filled with sewage-contaminated floodwater.”
He went on, stating, “With few possibilities for drainage, current living conditions in the camp are horrifying and an affront to human dignity. Most of the camp is now knee-deep in sewage. Thousands of people cannot lie down and therefore sleep standing up with their infants in their arms.”
The UN expanded a refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya, to house those from South Sudan. They opened the camp in 1992 to house refugees known as the “Lost Boys” from Sudan. Officials thought about closing the camp in 2008 after South Sudan formed into its own nation. But when a new civil war broke out, the UN opted to keep it open.