South Sudan : Soldiers get 7-years to life jail over rape, murder

South Sudanese soldiers listen to the verdict being delivered at their trial in a military courtroom. Photo : RR

Juba, South Sudan (ADV) – Ten South Sudanese soldiers will spend between seven years and life in jail for rape and murder, a military tribunal decided on Thursday.

More specifically, two of the 10 soldiers will die in jail while eight of their complices will spend not lesser than seven years behind bars.

All in all, 11 soldiers stood trial for the obnoxious offense but one was exonerated over lack of evidence, the military tribunal said.

The tribunal requested the South Sudanese government to pay an undisclosed amount of money in damages to the victims.

The guilty verdict and sentences were handed down in retribution for raping foreign aid workers and the murder of a local journalist during a military onslaught on Juba’s Terrain hotel in 2016.

The attack obtained on 11 July 2016 as President Salva Kiir’s troops mounted a last-ditch battle following a three-day confrontation against Vice President Riek Machar’s forces to capture the capital, Juba.

An intense cross fight lasted several hours under the watch of an incapacitated UN troop which also fired at culminating in the resignation of the UN political head of the mission.

Military analysts have described the incident as the worst perpetrated against aid workers in South Sudan’s fratricidal war that has killed hundreds and forced millions into exile.

President Kiir and Machar had agreed and violated several peace deals with the last one signed in Sudan last week that will bring the conflict to an end at least for now.

© Bur-csa – TJM / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV)