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South Sudan government committed extrajudicial killings of civilians: report

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July 13, 2021 (WASHINGTON) – A new report has pinned the South Sudanese government of committing “extrajudicial killings, including ethnic-based killings of civilians, widespread sexual violence, and use of food as a weapon of war."

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Joe Biden

The 2021 Report to Congress Pursuant to Section 5 of the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2018 was released on Monday.

“In South Sudan, the State (Department) coordinated financial and political support to establish an African Union hybrid court to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity," the report read in part.

“The government has perpetrated extrajudicial killings including ethnic-based killings of civilians, widespread sexual violence, and use of food as a weapon of war. Non-government armed groups also perpetrated unlawful killings, rape, sexual slavery, and forced recruitment of children,” it added.

According to the report, the African Union and the United Nations have separately documented atrocities in the East African nation.

“In February 2021, Secretary Blinken stated those responsible for human rights violations in South Sudan must be held to account. The AU Commission of Inquiry and the UN Commission on Human Rights for South Sudan have documented atrocities,” the report read.

“State (Department) continues to support civil society documentation to further truth, justice, and accountability and advocate for a robust mandate for the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan to collect and preserve evidence. USAID supports civil society and independent media to promote political stability, peacebuilding, and citizen’s participation in, and oversight of, peace agreement implementation,” it noted.

According to the report, the Joe Biden Administration is committed to promoting democratic values that underpin a stable international system critical to freedom, prosperity, and peace.

In May, the Security Council renewed the arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze imposed on South Sudan for another year and extended for 13 months the mandate of the panel of experts tasked with helping to oversee those measures.

South Sudan, however, said the sanctions impede the implementation of its peace agreement.

(ST)

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