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Military court jails 24 soldiers for rape, looting in South Sudan

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October 8, 2020 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese military court on Thursday sentenced at least 24 government soldiers to jail over rape and looting.

The soldiers, who were also dismissed from the national army, were found guilty of rape, looting as well as selling military equipment, obtained jail sentences ranging from two to 14 years in detention.

The military court tried 35 soldiers accused of rape and looting in Yei River county, but 11 of them were acquitted for lack of evidence.

"What we have done today is an indication that the SSPDF do not condone crimes against civilians and the government," SSPDF spokesperson, Lul Ruai Koang told reporters on Thursday.

Meanwhile, South Sudan army chief of general staff, General Johnson Juma Okot said SSPDF is committed to fighting criminality within the army.

According to the presiding judge Joseph James Mayen, the soldiers can, however, appeal their sentences within 14 days.

South Sudan laws provide for protection of women and girls from sexual abuse and exploitation and gender-based violence, including rape, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

(ST)

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