UN to release human rights violation report, says UN official

16 Jan 2014

UN to release human rights violation report, says UN official

16 January 2014 - A report on human rights violations in the South Sudan conflict would be released in the next few weeks, a top UN official said today in Juba.

“I can announce that in a couple of weeks there will be comprehensive report on human rights violations that occurred after 15th of December,” visiting Assistant-Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic told UN Radio Miraya.

He added that persons found to have committed human rights violations in the month-old conflict between pro- and anti-government forces would be held accountable.

During a visit to the Unity State capital Bentiu yesterday, Mr. Simonovic noted the suffering of people affected by the month-long conflict, who had continually suffered human rights abuses.

“When there is change of control over Bentiu, each time the group that was taking control was involved in human rights violations, including killings of civilians,” he said.

”When we were driving in the streets … we could see about 15 to 20 decomposing bodies just by the street, some of them being obviously civilians … tied before being killed.”

Mr. Simonovic described Bentiu as a “ghost town”, after more than 40 thousand people had fled clashes between government and anti-government forces.

The UN currently has 90 human rights investigators in South Sudan, who are investigating reported incidents of human rights violations since the conflict started.

Both government and anti-government forces had a responsibility under international law to protect civilians and their rights, Mr. Simonovic said.

He called on both parties involved in the conflict to find a peaceful solution.