The U.N. said Thursday that the South Sudan government and rebels have both abused human rights.
According to the U.N. report, both sides have committed rape and been involved in mass killings and torture. The report came from about 900 interviews with eyewitnesses and victims.
“In light of the widespread and systematic nature of many of the attacks, and information suggesting coordination and planning, there are also reasonable grounds to believe that the crimes against humanity of murder, rape and other acts of sexual violence, enforced disappearance, and imprisonment have occurred,” the report found.
The report also said that thousands of citizens have been killed in the violence.
Fighting started in December when Kiir ““accused Machar of staging a coup.” Machar, on the other hand, has said he wants Kiir to step down from his role as president.
Kiir and Machar are scheduled to meet Friday and try to negotiate a resolution. It will be the first time the two have met since the fighting started.
"I don't believe that they will meet and reach an agreement straight away. But if they can agree on a broad-based process on how to resolve the conflict, end the fighting, that would be a step forward," said Susan Page, the U.S. ambassador to South Sudan.
"People want peace. People don't understand why the country should go into war just less than three years since independence," she added later.
At least one million people have left their homes and thousands have been killed.
A peace deal signed earlier this year failed.
Publication date: May 9, 2014
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.