South Sudan: Soldiers jailed for murder of journalist, rape

South Sudan soldiers in court
South Sudan soldiers in court

A military court in South Sudan has sentenced 10 soldiers to jail terms ranging from seven years to life for a rampage in which a journalist was killed and foreign aid workers raped.

The court also ordered South Sudan’s government to pay each rape survivor $4,000 (£3,000) in compensation.

The crimes were committed during a rampage in the Terrain Hotel in the capital Juba in 2016.

A UN report accused peacekeepers of failing to respond to pleas for help.

South Sudan’s military and rebel forces have been accused of committing horrific abuses since the outbreak of a civil war in 2013, but this was the worst attack against foreigners.

Local community radio journalist John Gatluak was taking shelter in the hotel compound when he was killed.

The court ordered the government to give his family 51 cows as compensation.

Two soldiers were convicted of his murder and sentenced to life.

Three others were found guilty of raping aid workers, four of sexual harassment, and one of theft and armed robbery.

They have been sentenced to between seven and 14 years in jail.

Thursday’s judgment was delivered in a military courtroom packed with diplomats, aid workers and officials.

One accused soldier was acquitted. Another died in detention of natural causes.

The attack took place during heavy fighting in Juba between government and rebel forces.

More than 70 people, including two UN peacekeepers, were killed in three days of fighting.

At least five foreign aid workers were raped when troops stormed the hotel compound.

Share this story

Post your comments below