UN OHCHR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights [to 23 January 2016]
Selected Press Releases
Widespread human rights abuses by all sides as South Sudan peace process gets underway
JUBA/GENEVA (21 January 2016) – Widespread human rights violations and abuses have been committed in South Sudan by all parties to the conflict since December 2013, including hundreds of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, sexual violence, forced recruitment and indiscriminate attacks against civilians, according to a UN report published today.
The report, by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), shows that “very few places in areas of conflict have been safe, as the parties have intentionally attacked traditional safe havens, such as places of worship, hospitals and, from time to time, United Nations bases.”
These attacks reveal a shocking disregard for civilian life, the report says, with an increasing number of armed groups and communities being involved in the violence. “From the middle of 2015, a new pattern emerged, particularly in the central and southern counties of Unity State, with entire villages being burned down, food crops destroyed and livestock looted. There are indications that this may have been a deliberate strategy by the government or the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) aimed at depriving civilians of any source of livelihood with a view to forcing their displacement,” says the report.
The report documents at least 280 cases of conflict-related sexual violence, including gang-rape, sexual slavery and forced abortion. There has also been sharp increase in child recruitment, with at least 13,000 to 15,000 child soldiers, recruited mainly, but not solely, by opposition forces, as of December 2015.
“Despite the severity of the human rights and humanitarian law violations perpetrated by both sides to the conflict, there are no tangible accountability mechanisms beyond the rhetoric of the main belligerents,” says the report…
Staggering civilian death toll in Iraq – UN report
BAGHDAD/GENEVA (19 January 2016) – A UN report released today details the severe and extensive impact on civilians of the ongoing conflict in Iraq, with at least 18,802 civilians killed and another 36,245 wounded between 1 January 2014 and 31 October 2015. Another 3.2 million people have been internally displaced since January 2014, including more than a million children of school age.
Of the total number of casualties, at least 3,855 civilians were killed and 7,056 wounded between 1 May and 31 October last year – the period covered by the report, although the actual figures could be much higher than those documented. About half of these deaths took place in Baghdad.
The report, compiled by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), is based largely on testimony obtained directly from the victims, survivors or witnesses of violations of international human rights or international humanitarian law, including interviews with internally displaced people…