UN experts urge investigation into South Sudan abuses

United Nations human rights experts have called for an international probe into abuses perpetrated in South Sudan, while reiterating warnings of ethnic cleansing in the world’s youngest nation.

In a new report released on Monday, the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan expressed concern over the massive increase in human rights violations in recent months in the country.

The UN team of experts which comprises of three commission members warned that the actions of South Sudan government and other parties to the conflict suggest the deliberate targeting of citizens on the basis of their ethnicities by means of abductions, killings, rape and the burning of villages.

In same the report, to be submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next week, the UN team renewed their warnings that "ethnic cleansing was under way."

The experts called upon the United Nations to carry out an international and independent investigation into the most serious crimes committed in the country, including conflict-related sexual violence.

The team also urged the African Union (AU) to help ensure the swift establishment of a hybrid court for South Sudan as stipulated in the 2015 peace agreement, saying that such a tribunal needs to start its work within six to nine months.

The UN experts further said the abuses committed in South Sudan may "amount to war crimes”.

Photo: Two refugee children who have arrived in Democratic Republic of the Congo with a group of more than 400 other refugees from the region around Yei. (Credit: UNHCR/Andreas Kirchof)