May 30, 2018 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s army and rebels massacred civilians, burned children alive and gang-raped women, despite a ceasefire agreed upon in December last year, the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) said in a new report on the war-torn nation.
- Arms and light weapons have been used by both warring parties in South Sudan to commit abuses (Photo courtesy of SSANSA)
The 14 CTSAMM are yet to be publicly released despite pledges by regional leaders to have those who violated the ceasefire agreement punished.
Both South Sudan government and rebels have dismissed the report.
A group of 200 South Sudanese government soldiers attacked the village of Nyatot in Upper Nile state on 12 February and reportedly shot at random everything and everybody, according to Reuters.
22 civilians were killed and 72 wounded, the monitoring team said.
Gordon Buay, an official at South Sudan’s embassy in Washington, said troops had targeted rebels in Nyatot, not civilians as claimed.
“Any civilian killed in that was not intentional. It was crossfire,” he told Reuters.
The reports says an attack on the town of Modit in Jonglei state on 26 February saw government forces raze buildings, loot a Christian charity and kill five people, including four children who were burned.
“Soldiers stood at the door of the (hut) to ensure the children remained inside and they were eventually burnt to death,” it said.
One of the reports also accused the armed opposition forces loyal to the country’s former first vice-president, Riek Machar of using child soldiers around the South Sudanese northwestern town of Wau.
Tens of thousands have been killed in South Sudan’s war, which began in December 2013 with fighting been soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and Machar, an ethnic Nuer.
More than 3 million people have been displaced due to the civil war, while aid agencies say about 5 million people are food insecure.