South Sudan soldiers in dock for mass rape cases

South Sudan soldiers in dock for mass rape cases
The case against 13 soldiers has been postponed in order to allow the prosecution to build a case effectively.
1 min read
30 May, 2017
SPLA soldiers celebrate national army day on May 18 in Juba [Getty]

Thirteen soldiers accused of mass raping aid workers at gunpoint at a compound in South Sudan's capital last year faced charges in court on Tuesday.

The case has been adjourned until 6 June to allow the prosecution to compile a strong enough case in the worst attack on aid workers in South Sudan's history.

"This crime has been committed at the Terrain Hotel against foreign workers and other local members on 11 July 2016," Chief Prosecutor Abubaker Mohammed Ramadan told the Juba court.

Troops loyal to President Kiir gang-raped robbed and assaulted aid workers at the Terrain hotel compound in Juba at gunpoint, inspiring anger and outrage from the international community.

The previous Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon was reportedly outraged by the incident after it transpired that Chinese peacekeepers had abandoned their positions instead of responding to the attack.

Ban said he was "alarmed by the serious shortcomings" of the UN mission and subsequently dismissed the force commander, Lieutenant General Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki of Kenya,  following an internal inquiry.

South Sudan has been ridden with instability since its independence from Khartoum in 2011.