UN report exposes human rights violations and abuses
against civilians in and around Yei, South

GENEVA/JUBA (19 May 2017) – A United
Nations report published today released the findings of an
in-depth investigation into human rights violations and
abuses committed in and around Yei town, Central Equatoria
(150km southwest of the capital, Juba) between July 2016 and
January 2017.
The report by the Human Rights Division of
the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the
UN Human Rights Office documents violations and abuses
against civilians both sides of the conflict, based on
ethnicity and/or their presumed support for other side.
This includes 114 killings by pro-Government forces. The
extent of the abuses by armed opposition groups remains
unclear due to lack of access to areas where these groups
are active. The report finds that these violations and
abuses may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity
and that they warrant further investigation.
The report
exposes cases of indiscriminate shelling of civilians;
targeted killings; looting and burning of civilian property
and cases of sexual violence perpetrated against women and
girls, including those fleeing fighting.
Until recently,
Yei was largely a peaceful town, with between 200,000 and
300,000 residents of many different ethnicities. In July
2016, violence erupted between Government and Opposition
forces, which led to the departure of Opposition leader Riek
Machar together with a small group of followers across the
Equatorias, into the Democratic Republic of Congo. As
Government forces pursued him, fighting simultaneously broke
out along the route, particularly in Yei. This violence
fuelled strong divisions along ethnic lines and resulted in
targeted killings, arrests, rapes and mass civilian
displacement of more than half of the population of the
Satellite imagery used to corroborate allegations
shows that there was widespread burning of homes and
businesses, resulting in the forcible displacement of tens
of thousands of civilians. Even as people fled the violence,
reports suggest that armed actors harassed, robbed and
targeted them as they headed to Uganda to seek
The report documents “the profound human
suffering caused by the ongoing conflict and the
exploitation of local and ethnic divisions for political
“The conflict in Yei, in particular,
highlights the startling level of impunity in South Sudan,
which has fed successive cycles of violence across the
country,” the report states.
The full report is
available here: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/SS/UNMISSReportJuly2016_January2017.pdf

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Publish date : 20 May 2017 | 12:51 am

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