South Sudan Rubbishes Human Rights Watch Report

The South Sudanese government has denied report by Human Rights Watch released last week that it has unlawfully killed civilians in Jonglei.

South Sudan Rubbishes Human Rights Watch Report
Women from the Murle tribe wait to receive emergency food aid in Pibor town.© 2013

By Waakhe Simon Wudu

JUBA – 20 September 2013 [Gurtong] - “The human right report did not get the reaction of the government. They should have asked the authority to answer some of the things they have found on the ground,” South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial said on the UN Radio Miraya on Wednesday. 

“Most of them are hearsays from individual citizens and those who have their own agendas in which some of the reports are exaggerated.” 

He however said government is taking swift measures to punish abusers of human rights in the country.

According to the report, killing the civilians had led to displacement of thousands of people to flee their homes, making them more vulnerable to attack from rival ethnic groups.

The rights group called on South Sudan to hold all abusive soldiers accountable and bolster military and civilian justice to curb further violations.

The 45-page report entitled: “They are Killing Us: Abuses Giants Civilians in South Sudan’s Pibor County, “ documented 24 incidents of unlawful killings of almost 100 members of the Murle ethnic group between December 2012 and July 2013 which the report said constituted serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.

The report also describes how the South Sudan’s army, SPLA burned and looted homes, physically and verbally abused civilians, and destroyed schools, churches, and the compounds of aid agencies providing life-saving assistance.

On Tuesday, South Sudanese Vice President James Wani Igga directed authorities to punish abusers of human rights in the country. He also called for more education to the citizens on what human rights are.

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