Victims petition ICC over atrocities in South Sudan

By Onen Walter Solomon

A group of victims and survivors of grave atrocities committed in South Sudan during the conflict have petitioned the Netherlands based International Criminal Court to investigate with intent to prosecute actors for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A detailed submission was this week submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC seeking on behalf of 31 victims who suffered gross abuses in the six-year crisis which began in 2013 leaving 400,000 people dead, displaced four million others and destroyed the economy.

The submission was made by a group including an international human rights lawyer, war crimes prosecutor and former UN Commissioner on Human Rights in South Sudan Kenneth Scott and the international justice organization Guernica 37.

They said in the statement released on August 2  that severe food insecurity and malnutrition stalks the country, while starvation is used as a method of war.

The lawyers there has been no accountability for any of the gross violations or abuses committed on the victim-survivors, despite widespread international condemnation.

According to them, the conflict involved widespread and systematic human rights violations, horrific and sustained violence and massive  gender-based and sexual abuses.

“It’s ultimately up to the International Criminal Court to decide who they would charge,” Lawyer Scot told Juba Echo.

“But we have certainly provided a lot of detailed information concerning possible responsible parties,” he said by WhatsApp on Tuesday.

“It is clear from the evidence that have been gathered so far that a great deal of the displacement was conducted by government troops and was done on such a wide spread and systematic basis,” he said.

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