Displaying items by tag: war crimes

‘There are no heroes in Yemen, just criminals and victims’, said a human rights investigator. The victims are millions of ordinary Yemenis caught in a protracted proxy war that brought Yemen to its knees and turned it into the world's biggest humanitarian disaster. The lack of easy access to the country for journalists and international monitors means many Yemenis feel, as one doctor put it, that ‘we are screaming in pain, but no one is hearing’. Recently a Sky investigation team travelled hundreds of miles through armed checkpoints and rough terrain to gather testimonies from the victims, witnesses and survivors. Families in Taiz, Yemen’s third-largest municipality and once a cultural epicentre, have experienced some of the fiercest fighting during the six-year civil war between pro-government troops backed by a Saudi-led coalition (supported by the USA and the UK) and Houthi rebels, supported by Iran. Both sides are guilty of grave human rights abuses: see

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 02 March 2018 10:39

South Sudan: UN report - war crimes

60.5% of South Sudan’s population is Christian, with over 60 different major ethnic groups. South Sudan split from the predominantly Islamic north in 2011 and was expected to prosper as the split meant it inherited most of Sudan's oil wealth. But civil war has robbed the nation, killed thousands, and left tens of thousands in need of humanitarian aid. Now a report by UN human rights investigators says that over 40 South Sudanese officials, including military generals and state governors, may be guilty of crimes against humanity, (rape, murder of civilians, and conscripting child soldiers). The report says, ‘Children have been recruited and forced to kill civilians. In many cases they have watched loved ones raped or killed. The scale of the hunger and destruction inflicted on the country by its political and military leaders defies description.’

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South Sudan’s Catholic bishops have issued a pastoral letter condemning the civil war and labelling the famine ‘man-made’. The document responds to reports from all seven dioceses. They denounce government and opposition violence against civilians. ‘The killing, torturing and raping of civilians is a war crime. We want the world to hear the true situation in which our people find themselves. Our country is gripped by a humanitarian crisis - famine, economic hardship, and insecurity. Our people are struggling simply to survive.’ The bishops tell how people have been herded into their houses which were then set on fire, and recount atrocities of bodies dumped in sewage-filled septic tanks. They said, ‘People live in fear. While food shortages are partly related to poor rains, it is violence and a plummeting economy that are pushing the population over the edge into famine’.

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