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South Sudan Army Jails Officers for Mass Killing of Civilians

A dozen high-ranking officers in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) have been jailed over the role that troops under their direct command played in the alleged killing of innocent civilians in Jonglei state. Peter Marte explains how the ranking officers abused human rights in the state of Jonglei, resulting in the killing of an estimated 100,000 civilians.

Commanders alledgedly lost control of their troops, or were unwilling to impose discipline over their men, during a military operation to disarm the civilian population in Jonglei’s eastern region. There is not much proof regarding which lower ranking officers actually committed the crime, but the SPLA spokesman Colonel Phillip Aguer said that there was a great pressure from the people to do something. They decided to jail the twelve highest-ranking officers, an effort by the SPLA to show the public that their army is well-commanded and disciplined.


Source: Peter Marte, “South Sudan Army Jails High Ranking Officers Over Rights Abuses in Jonglei,” All Africa, August 22, 2013,

Student Researcher: Brandon Carone (Sonoma State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Debora A. Paterniti (Sonoma State University)



Ray McGovern

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