Human Rights Watch says arms embargo and war crimes court needed in South Sudan

Juba, March 7, 2016 (SSNA) — Human Rights Watch has said South Sudan’s government troops have expanded their abuses by carrying out numerous killings, rapes, enforced disappearances, and other serious human rights violations in Equatorial region.

Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement published on the HRW website that both government and rebel forces have committed atrocities in the west of the country.

“As South Sudan’s fighting has shifted west, so too have the atrocities by government forces and rebel groups. South Sudan’s leaders should put a stop to all abuses,” Bekele said.

Bekele also calls on the UN Security Council to an arms embargo and urges African Union (AU) to establish war crimes court so that those who committed crimes should be punished.

“Both an arms embargo and an effective war crimes court are also crucial to help stem the abuses and send a message that the crimes will be punished,” he urges.

“Rather than seeing improvements following the peace agreement, we are seeing continuous attacks on civilians and other abuses carried out with impunity. It is high time the AU and the UN act, by moving forward with the hybrid court and implementing the long-threatened arms embargo,” Bekele added.

HRW further revealed that its researchers were in Western Equatoria last month and found that Juba-backed soldiers systematically target non-Dinka local armed groups, civilian areas, burned and looted homes, and arbitrarily detained summarily executed people.

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