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The East African : Aug 11th 2014
18 The EastAfrican NEWS AUGUST 9-15,2014 Conflicting inte≥ests impede Al Shabaab wa≥ WAR CRIMES ACCUSATIONS From page 16 consolidating the areas already under their control. “There is no lull in Amisom operations but our focus is for regional countries to agree on how to form local administration in the liberated areas because we don’t want to leave a vacuum for Al Shabaab to move back into,” said Mr Yao. Kenya and Uganda have been at the forefront of training the Somalia national Army and the police. Kenya has been training the Somalia security forces under its budget while Uganda has trained over 3,000 soldiers under the European Union military mission to contribute to the training of Somali security forces. However, the government of Somalia received a major boost from the America during the US-African Summit in Washington. Tom Kelly, the Assistant US Secretary of State for Political-Military Af- 3,000 fairs, noted that the Al Shabaab is on the run courtesy of the efforts of Amisom and the Somali National Army, “Somalia presents in general a good- The number of soldiers trained by Uganda under EU military mission news story. Recent terror activity in Kenya and Djibouti is a reflection of weakness, not strength. The US Special Forces have been operating in Somalia for a number of years and their objective, is to enhance the capability of Somali national forces so they can take the fight directly to Al Shabaab,” said Mr Kelly. Additional reporting by Kevin Kelley in Washington HRW calls for arms embargo on S. Sudan Rights watchdog accused wa≥≥ing sides of ext≥ao≥dina≥y acts of c≥uelty that amount to wa≥ c≥imes By KEVIN J KELLEY Special Correspondent S outh Sudan’s army and the armed opposition are both guilty of “extraordinary acts of cruelty that amount to war crimes,” Human Rights Watch charged last week. “Thousands of civilians have been killed, homes and markets burnt, and bodies left to be eaten by birds and dogs,” the group said in a report based on interviews with over 400 victims and witnesses in South Sudan. While condemning atroci- ties carried out by forces allied with rebel leader Riek Machar, HRW accused the military controlled by President Salva Kiir of direct and indirect attacks of a tribal nature. “Not only are government forces responsible for ethnicbased killings, but by failing to take action on many fronts South Sudan’s government has effectively condoned attacks on Nuer civilians and on UN bases,” HRW said in its 92-page report. Crimes committed “The government has failed to admit the scale of the crimes committed or demonstrate political will to provide accountability,” the rights group added. “Instead President Salva Kiir and other authorities set up a confusing array of investigations, none of which have yielded a public report, hearing or prosecutions.” Human Rights Watch de- nounced the government’s actions in the same week that President Kiir was cordially received in Washington by US officials. In a joint appearance with the South Sudan leader on the sidelines of the US-Africa summit, Secretary of State John Kerry did not criticise government actions during the eight-month civil war. Instead, Mr Kerry blamed Mr Machar for breaking a ceasefire agreement. The US diplomat also reit- erated the US view that Mr Kiir is “the duly elected, constitutional president of South Sudan,” while Mr Machar’s forces constitute “a rebel FAULTED President Salva Kiir and other authorities have been accused of setting up a “confusing array of investigations, none of which have yielded a public report, hearing or prosecutions.” group.” The one-sided criticism offered by Mr Kerry elicited dismay from some activists in the US. They also drew a contrast between Mr Kiir’s presence in Washington at a time when his homeland is facing famine and the decision by two West African heads of state to skip the summit and remain at home to lead the response to the Ebola emergency. The United Nations Secu- rity Council should “urgently impose an embargo on South Sudan,” HRW recommended. It also called for the UN and the African Union to initiate sanctions against individuals responsible for violating international humanitarian and human-rights law. At the same time, HRW faulted the United Nations for failing to ensure justice for crimes committed during the long civil war that resulted in South Sudan’s independence. In the years following a peace pact in 2005, the international community “focused on increasing the reach of the new Southern government over documenting human rights violations” and punishing those responsible for crimes against civilians. UN missions in South Sudan also did not promote “meaningful inter-communal healing,” HRW said.
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