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U.N. says brutality in S. Sudan can rise to war crimes: NPR

A man carries the southern Sudanese national flag on the Mangateen Internal Displaced person's center in Juba on November 1 7, 2018. Sudan's civil war has led to the shift of millions of people. Akuot Chol / AFP / Getty Images hide caption change caption Akuot Chol / AFP / Getty Images A man carries the southern Sudanese national flag on the Mangateen Internal Displaced person's center in Juba on November 17, 2018. Sudan's civil war has led to the shift of millions of people. Akuot Chol / AFP / Getty Images Human crimes and addictions that have grown routine against civilians and children in the world's youngest country can constitute war crimes, according to a new report by the UN Commission on Human Rights in Southern Sudan describing the brutality committed in 2018. Almost Eight years after South Sudan gained independence from its northern neighbor, Sudan, a civil war has committed the country in a humanitarian disaster. "There is a confirmed pattern of how fighters attack villages, plunder homes, take women as sexual slaves and then bring home fires – often with people in them, the commission says. President Yasmin Sooka in a statement on the results of the report covering 2018. "Rapes, gang relations, sexual humiliation, abductions and sexual slavery, as well as deaths, have become commonplace in southern Sudan. "The report is not called the perpetrators, but says they are believed to come in many aspects of the conflict, including the army, rebel and armed groups, the…

A man carries the southern Sudanese national flag on the Mangateen Internal Displaced person’s center in Juba on November 1

7, 2018. Sudan’s civil war has led to the shift of millions of people.

Akuot Chol / AFP / Getty Images

hide caption

change caption

Akuot Chol / AFP / Getty Images

A man carries the southern Sudanese national flag on the Mangateen Internal Displaced person’s center in Juba on November 17, 2018. Sudan’s civil war has led to the shift of millions of people.

Akuot Chol / AFP / Getty Images

Human crimes and addictions that have grown routine against civilians and children in the world’s youngest country can constitute war crimes, according to a new report by the UN Commission on Human Rights in Southern Sudan describing the brutality committed in 2018.

Almost Eight years after South Sudan gained independence from its northern neighbor, Sudan, a civil war has committed the country in a humanitarian disaster.

“There is a confirmed pattern of how fighters attack villages, plunder homes, take women as sexual slaves and then bring home fires – often with people in them, the commission says. President Yasmin Sooka in a statement on the results of the report covering 2018. “Rapes, gang relations, sexual humiliation, abductions and sexual slavery, as well as deaths, have become commonplace in southern Sudan. “The report is not called the perpetrators, but says they are believed to come in many aspects of the conflict, including the army, rebel and armed groups, the national security authority, and two unidentified state governors.

A weapon punch was declared in southern Sudan in June 2018 followed by the signing of a peace deal, which resulted in a marked reduction in fighting, but “the hostilities have persisted,” reports said, adding that the peace agreement did not address South Sudan’s catastrophic humanitarian situation. the population seriously uncertain, and there are still 2.2 million refugees and 1.9 million internally displaced persons. “

Children make up the majority of South Sudan’s displaced. They are often lonely – separate from their parents and especially vulnerable to violence, armed groups have recruited thousands of southern Sudanese child soldiers, the reports say, while more children are still being abducted and forced to fight.

Sometimes, the children are trapped in the cross by ongoing military operations and sometimes they are targeted, the Commission finds. It tells of reports of remarkable brutality, including the fact that children are pushed in the back when they try to run, and in one case a child is turned towards a tree.

Sexual and gender-based violence is an ongoing warfare tactic used “by all parties to hurt terror,” the report says. Sexual violence against children includes rape of girls as young as seven. Boys and men also suffer, but their stories of sexual violence are underreported, due to social stigma, the report finds.

“There is no doubt that these crimes are persistent because impunity is so rooted in southern Sudan that every type of norm is broken, even to rape and kill the young and elderly,” said Commissioner Andrew Clapham at a press conference in Geneva on Wednesday

The Commission says it is continuing to gather evidence of human rights violations and other crimes with a view to their being applied to fair mechanisms, saying it has three case studies documenting war crimes, which will continue for Potential Prosecution.

“We believe that through accountability and reconciliation there is the opportunity for the South Sudanese to handle the past and secure their future stability and prosperity,” said Clapham.

Central in the conflict, the report states, is South Sudan’s near total economic dependence on oil. “Increased militarization and v artefactisation of the oil industry with government forces “, working to protect their own financial interests in the oil sector, risks making South Sudan a police state built by fear, letting and corruption”, report says. Furthermore, oil revenues are used to finance the fighting.

And while the report focuses on last year, Clapham notes that intense battles continue in the Central Equatoria state between the government forces and a militant group. “A grounded policy” has led to burnt homes, civilians being killed and women and girls raping. Thousands of civilians have been displaced in the recent outbreak.

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