February 6, 2017 (JUBA) -South Sudan president Salva Kiir had instructed the country’s defence minister to execute soldiers who commits human right abuses and atrocities.
- President Salva Kiir, (L), accompanied by army chief of staff Paul Malong Awan, (R), waves during an independence day ceremony in the capital Juba, on July 9, 2015 (Photo AP)
The president gave instructions at a religious function held in Yei town on Monday after visiting the region for the first time since conflict broke out in the country in 2013.
“Let us do one thing; we get rid of bad elements among us and we remain clean, pure and perfect," he said.
The South Sudanese leader said he will only be interested in receiving execution reports on soldiers found to have committed crimes.
“From today onward, if such a thing happens, I want them to bring me a report that somebody has committed such a crime and has been shot”, said the president.
South Sudan’s image, its president said, will not be tarnished if the order is implemented and it will make the country free of crimes.
In July last year, 121 government soldiers were arrested on suspicion of committing crimes including rape and looting of civilians during clashes in the capital, Juba.
The arrest came after the army announced the establishment of a military court martial meant to try soldiers accused of committing crimes during the clashes that occurred between government forces (SPLA) loyal to President Kiir and the armed opposition faction (SPLA-IO) loyal to the former First Vice President Riek Machar.
The United Nations had, in a report, documented more than 120 cases of sexual violence, including rapes and gang rapes of women and minors that allegedly occurred during renewed clashes that left over 200 dead and thousands displaced.
South Sudan emerged from more than four decades of civil war at the cost of 2.5 million lives lost to gain independence from Sudan in July 2011. The country again slid back into chaos that has further killed tens of thousands of people and displaced more than 2 million from their homes when Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup.
The country remains in chaos, despite the signing a peace deal in August 2015.