South Sudan allows fighters to rape women as payment while children and the disabled are burned alive in 'one of the most horrendous human rights situations in the world', a UN report has found.
The UN human rights office painted a harrowing picture of civilians suspected of supporting the opposition being torched, suffocated in shipping containers, hanged from trees and cut to pieces.
In scorching detail, the report cited cases of parents being forced to watch their children being raped during the country's two-year civil war.
It said investigators received information that some armed militias affiliated with.....
government forces 'raided cattle, stole personal property, raped and abducted women and girls' as a type of payment.
UN human rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein said: 'The quantity of rapes and gang-rapes described in the report must only be a snapshot of the real total.
'This is one of the most horrendous human rights situations in the world, with massive use of rape as an instrument of terror and weapon of war, yet it has been more or less off the international radar.'
His office said attacks against civilians, forced disappearances, rape and other violations could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The UN report released Friday is the work of an assessment team deployed in South Sudan between October and January and says 'state actors' bear most responsibility for the crimes.
The human rights situation has 'dramatically deteriorated' since South Sudan erupted into civil war in December 2013, the report said.
The crisis stemmed from a falling-out between President Salva Kiir and his deputy, Riek Machar, that boiled over into an armed rebellion.
Tens of thousands have died and at least two million people have been displaced from their homes.
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