The Ongoing Struggle for Accountability in Mayom's Extrajudicial Killings in South Sudan
August 17, 2023
Cited article by Nyagoah Tut Pur
HRRC joins Human Rights Watch in calling on South Sudan’s government and the African Union Commission to establish a hybrid court to propose a peace deal to prosecute one of the most serious violations and ensure accountability for officials involved.
On August 8, 2022, disturbing videos and photographs emerged on social media, revealing government forces executing captured members of an armed opposition group in Mayom County, South Sudan. These executions took place amid counterinsurgency operations following attacks by the South Sudan Patriotic Movement (SSPM). The footage includes soldiers discussing burning a man alive in a hut and shooting three unarmed men execution-style. Despite public outrage and evidence of high-ranking involvement, no one has been held accountable for these actions even a year later.
The South Sudanese military established an investigation committee, but the findings were not made public, raising concerns about transparency and accountability. A report by Amnesty International stated that most governments' reports are “inaccessible to most people, including judges, prosecutors, police, and legal practitioners in the country.” In South Sudan, a culture of impunity has taken root, allowing serious crimes committed by government and rebel forces to go unpunished. This trend persists both during the conflict and after the 2018 peace agreement.