South Sudan Allowed Troops to Rape and Loot Instead of Paying Them

UN Report Accuses US-Backed Govt of Horrific War Crimes

A new report from the UN human rights office is accusing the US-backed government of South Sudan of a series of horrific war crimes in their ongoing civil war, saying it has created one of the “most horrendous human rights situations in the world.”

Officials say that the South Sudanese government encouraged troops and their militia allies to loot private property and rape women as a way of getting out of paying them, with the UN saying they documented 1,300 rapes in Unity State alone over the course of six months.

The UN said militias were told “do what you can and take what you can,” and noted that civilians suspected of supporting the opposition were burned alive or hacked to pieces by troops, with torture and forced displacement common.

South Sudan became an independent state in 2011, and have been loudly endorsed by the US ever since, with officials talking up a “special relationship” with the South Sudanese people. The nation quickly fell into civil war, however, and an increasingly bloody one.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.