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SPLA responsible for rights abuse in Pibor – HRW Report

Author : Ayuen Panchol | Published: Friday, September 13, 2013

A human rights organization has alleged that the SPLA has been responsible for serious violations against civilians in Jonglei.

Human Rights Watch has released research that says the national army unlawfully killed almost 100 members of the Murle ethnic group between December 2012 and July this year.

The report entitled, “They are killing us”, also alleges soldiers burned and looted homes, physically and verbally abused civilians, and destroyed schools, churches, and the compounds of aid agencies providing life-saving assistance.

Skye Wheeler is a South Sudan researcher at the Human Rights Watch.

Speaking to Eye Radio from Nairobi this morning, she said the allegations needed urgent investigation.

“Our recommendations are: as you may know, the SPLA has already arrested one commander from Pibor County, accusing him of being in command of SPLA duties were taking place,” said Ms. Wheeler.

“We think that this is a very step forward and we want to see more investigations into the abuses and also see the army step up – bolster its military justice presence in the area.”

Yesterday, President Salva Kiir, in response to ongoing concern, rejected allegations that the South Sudanese army is guilty of widespread human rights abuses in Jonglei State.

President Kiir said there have been only isolated cases and those responsible are being punished. He denied claims the abuse has been widespread.

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