Extreme human rights abuses have been confirmed in South Sudan, a country that has been in turmoil since 2013.
The Christian Post reports that local church officials in South Sudan have confirmed a report released by the United Nations which documented the horrors of the South Sudanese civil war, including mass rapes, abuse of children and those with disabilities, and many gruesome forms of torture and death.
The U.N. report contains "harrowing accounts of pro-opposition civilians killed by being burned alive, suffocated in containers, shot, hanged from trees or cut to pieces.” Children and those with disabilities are also being targeted, and there are even reports of forced cannibalism, the report adds.
South Sudan’s civil war began in 2013 when President Salva Kiir and his supporters clashed with his rival and former Vice President Riek Machar. Kiir and Machar are from two different ethnicities within South Sudan.
The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights noted that the number and frequency of rapes in the country is particularly disturbing. Over 1,300 rapes were reported in one state of South Sudan alone.
"The scale and types of sexual violence – primarily by Government SPLA forces and affiliated militia – are described in searing, devastating detail, as is the almost casual, yet calculated, attitude of those slaughtering civilians and destroying property and livelihoods," said U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
Human rights activists, journalists, and other media personnel have also been targeted and faced with threats or arrest.
Some Christian leaders in the U.S. have sought to raise awareness of the conflict in South Sudan.
The Rev. Franklin Graham has stated, "These people are suffering beyond belief, and on top of that they are being bombed by their own government."
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Publication date: March 14, 2016