‘Horrendous’ Human Rights Abuses

A U.N. report describing sweeping crimes, including the burning alive of children and disabled people and fighters being allowed to rape women as payment, shows South Sudan is facing “one of the most horrendous human rights situations in the world,” the U.N. human rights chief said on March 11. Zeid Raad al-Hussein lamented that the crisis in the nearly five-year-old country has been largely overlooked by the international community; and his office said attacks against civilians, forced disappearances, rape and other violations could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. According to the United Nations, “state actors” bear most responsibility for the crimes. The report recommends that the U.N. Security Council consider expanding sanctions already in place by imposing a “comprehensive arms embargo” on South Sudan and also consider referring the matter to the International Criminal Court if other judicial avenues fail.

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