South Sudan’s atrocities are hidden from public, expert says

South-Sudan-ArmyA senior Africa researcher for Human Rights Watch (HRW) says the decision to keep some reports on South Sudan’s atrocities secret is wrong and suggests the reports be made public.

The Associated Press (AP) recently obtained secret reports which show government troops systematically gang-raped young girls and blocked door of huts to prevent children from escaping while setting house on fire.

“During an attack in February on a school in the town of Modit, children fled into a hut to hide. Government soldiers blocked the door and set it on fire, burning the children to death,” the AP reported.

Another secret report says a “young girl fetching water from a river in the town of Yei was strangled before she and her mother were gang-raped by government soldiers.”

“The reports contain evidence that soldiers continue to kill, rape and destroy property. The decision to keep these ongoing atrocity crimes secret sends the wrong message,” Human Rights Watch’s senior Africa researcher, Jehanne Henry, said.

The Associated Press indicates in its report that the findings were supposed to be released in May by the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) but failed to do so. The AP report also revealed that the secret atrocities reports have been given to the United Nations, United States, United Kingdom, and among others.