Juba, February 20, 2019 (SSNA) — The United Nations Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan on Wednesday recommends in a new report that an investigation into war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the young nation oil sector be conducted, saying it has uncovered new evidence showing the government, rebel, and other armed groups committed serious crimes.
The 3-member Commission also says South Sudan’s oil interests are also responsible for war crimes and that there are strong links between the ongoing civil war and oil. The new report accuses South Sudan national security of “siphoning off of oil money.”
“There are thousands of civilians who have been forcibly displaced following a scorched-earth policy in which the parties to the conflict are attacking the villages, torching the homes, killing civilians and raping women and girls. We feel the national security services are very much involved in the siphoning off of oil money,” Andrew Clapham, a Commission member says.
The Commission wants the United Nations to follow the money and warns that those who involved in oil extraction could be complicit in South Sudan’s war crimes.
“The Human Rights Council should get to the bottom of the sums involved and where the money was going. If you are involved in oil extraction in that area and you are asked to assist one side or the other, you could be accused of complicity in war crimes. There are Council members that we think have a responsibility to look more carefully at this,” Clapham told reporters at a news conference in Geneva.
The investigators revealed that they have a confidential list of suspects they found to have committed serious crimes. The list includes an unspecified number of government and rebel commanders, two state governors, and a county commissioner.
The Commission is due to present its report to the UN Security Council on March 12.