Hundreds killed in violence in South Sudan between June-Sept 2021, UN says

NAIROBI (Reuters) – At least 440 people were killed in violence between warring parties in the South Sudanese county of Tambura between June and September last year, the United Nations said in a new report on Tuesday.

The killings were also accompanied by other atrocities, including the gang rape of a 13-year-old girl, the report said.

The United Nations human rights agency blamed the violations and abuses on members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) and the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF), and their respective affiliated militias.

Both the SPLM/A-IO and SSPDF were not immediately available for comments.

“We call on all parties to the conflict to hold to account all individuals implicated in the horrific killings, rape, and abductions, among other grave human rights violations,” United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said in a statement.

Some 80,000 people were forced to flee their homes in the violence in the county, which is located in Western Equatoria state, which is controlled by SPLM-IO under the terms of a 2018 peace deal, which halted years of a civil war.

Violence broke out in the area after troops from both sides, who were training jointly for re-integration into the national army, got into disagreements and picked up arms.

In its report, the U.N. called on the South Sudanese government to investigate those responsible for the atrocities and to prosecute them.

(Writing by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)