South Sudan army killed, tortured civilians in Western Bahr Al-Ghazal’s Wau – Human Rights Watch

South Sudan President speaking to the army at Bilpam, SPLA General Headquarters (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

October 24th 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) – now South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) – killed and tortured civilians in Western Bahr AL-Ghazal state’s Wau in June 2018, a report published by the Human Rights Watch have said.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the advocacy group’s African Director, Jehanne Henry, the attacks against South Sudan citizens in the state of Wau has been one of a long-time tactics by the South Sudan government to eliminate civilians.

She said despite new developments and signing of peace deal by the South Sudan government and opposition troops, government soldiers have continued targeting civilians in most combat areas on the basis of ethnicity.

“There may be a new peace deal in South Sudan, but government forces are committing new abuses against civilians. This is the latest chapter in a long history of violence and impunity that has uprooted and traumatized hundreds of thousands of people in this part of the country,” Henry said.

The advocacy group further urged the South Sudan government to keep its forces under restraint in the Western Bahr Al Ghazal region in order to avoid further escalation of violence against civilians in the state.

“South Sudan’s government should ensure that their soldiers in the Western Bahr  Al-Ghazal region immediately stop attacking civilians and civilian property, that humanitarian organizations have proper access to civilians in need and that there is justice for the crimes committed,” the statement added.

South Sudan descended into a bloody civil war in December 2013 following a flare-up of violence during a national convention at Juba’s Nyakuron Cultural Centre which later ignited clashes within Presidential Guards.

The fighting in the Presidential Guards was fought along ethnic lines between those loyal to President Salva Kiir Mayardiit, an ethnic Dinka, and those loyal to former First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny, an ethnic Nuer.

The fighting in the nation’s capital later led to a civil massacre against the Nuer civilians leading to protest by top army commanders later on igniting a civil war.