17:41 GMT +316 October 2019
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    A young South Sudanese government soldier

    South Sudan's 'Scorched Earth' Policy Targeted Civilians – UN Report

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    South Sudan government forces were responsible for the majority of "horrendous" crimes committed during the civil war in 2015, carried out as part of the government’s "scorched earth policy" of rape, killings and destruction, a new UN report found Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The report on South Sudan, published by the UN Human Rights Office, looked into war crimes committed in the country since 2013 and was compiled by a team that worked on the ground for four months last year.

    "The report contains harrowing accounts of civilians suspected of supporting the opposition, including children and the disabled, killed by being burned alive, suffocated in containers, shot, hanged from trees or cut to pieces," the UN rights office said.

    ​Although all parties to the conflict have been shown to have used systematic violence against civilians since the conflict broke out over two years ago, government troops bore the greatest responsibility for attacks in 2015, the report said, adding that the scale of sexual violence was particularly shocking.

    South Sudan, which broke away from Sudan in 2011, has been in turmoil since December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused rebel leader Rijek Mashar of plotting a military coup in the country.


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