United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon is launching an independent investigation into allegations that UN peacekeepers did not respond to prevent multiple cases of abuse and sexual violence against civilians and foreigners in South Sudan's capital, reports the AP. The AP this week reported that on July 11, South Sudanese troops went on a nearly four-hour rampage through a compound popular with foreigners in Juba in one of the worst targeted attacks on aid workers in the country's three-year civil war. For hours throughout the assault, the UN peacekeeping force stationed less than a mile away refused to respond to desperate calls for help. (The AP has a detailed timeline here.)
Several witnesses told the AP that soldiers shot dead a local journalist while forcing the foreigners to watch, raped several foreign women, singled out Americans, beat and robbed people, and carried out mock executions. An excerpt from that report:
- "The soldier pointed his AK-47 at the female aid worker and gave her a choice. 'Either you have sex with me, or we make every man here rape you and then we shoot you in the head,' she remembers him saying. She didn't really have a choice. By the end of the evening, she had been raped by 15 South Sudanese soldiers."
(Read more UN peacekeepers