Between June and September 2021, not less than 440 civilians were killed in violence between warring parties in the South Sudanese county of Tambura, the United Nations said in a new report on Tuesday.
The killings were also accompanied by other atrocities, including the subjection of 64 civilians to sexual violence, the gang rape of a 13-year-old girl, and the recruitment of children into militias the report said.
Violence broke out in the area after troops from both sides, who were training jointly for re-integration into the national army, got into disagreements and picked up arms.
Some 80,000 people were forced to flee their homes to escape the fighting, the report added.
The United Nations human rights agency blamed the violations and abuses on members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) and the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF), and their respective affiliated militias.
The report added that they included high-ranking military officials and community and religious leaders.
“We call on all parties to the conflict to hold to account all individuals implicated in the horrific killings, rape, and abductions, among other grave human rights violations,” United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said in a statement.
In its report, the U.N. called on the South Sudanese government to investigate those responsible for the atrocities and to prosecute them.