S. Sudan soldiers in court over rape, murder

Trial concerns alleged rape of foreign aid workers, murder of local journalist at Juba hotel last July

S. Sudan soldiers in court over rape, murder

World Bulletin / News Desk

Over 10 South Sudanese soldiers accused of raping foreign aid workers and murdering a local journalist last year appeared in a military court on Tuesday, the military said.

At least 13 government soldiers out of 20 accused are facing charges over alleged murder, rape and looting during an attack on the Terrain Hotel in capital Juba on July 11, 2016, Prosecutor Lt. Col. Mayiek Jek said.

Tuesday's hearing comes after the case was adjourned on June 6 to give witnesses more time to testify before the court at the request of the prosecutor.

"We don’t tolerate crimes within the army, we are prosecuting these soldiers to send signal to others who want to commit atrocities," Lt. Col. Mayiek said.

The United Nations investigators and human rights groups accuse both South Sudanese government forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and former rebels backing opposition leader Riek Machar of ethnically-targeted atrocities, including extrajudicial execution of civilians and rapes since the war began in 2013, and say the crimes almost always go unpunished.

Last July's attack on foreign aid workers took place as Kiir's government troops won a three-day battle in Juba over opposition forces loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Haziran 2017, 16:52