On Tuesday 4 September 2018, Amnesty International released a briefing accusing the South-Sudanese government of gross human rights violations. “People in South Sudan have been arrested for their political and ethnic affiliations and are then subjected to unimaginable suffering – sometimes leading to death – at the hands of the government’s security forces,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes. According to the briefing, South Sudanese authorities have arbitrarily arrested, detained, tortured and ill-treated people to the point of death, despite repeated promises to release detainees. A spokesman for President Salva Kiir, Ateny Wek Ateny, denied the allegations of torture and said more than 20 political detainees were recently released and no more than three were still being held.
On Thursday, ten South Sudanese soldiers were jailed for raping foreign aid workers and the murder of a local journalist in an hotel in Juba in 2016. The attack led to the firing of the UN military commander and the resignation of the UN head of political mission. The terms varied from seven years to life imprisonment.
Top South Sudanese rebel commander General Thomas Cirilo visited the US this week. A report by The Dawn in Juba on Tuesday September 4, suggested that the trip to Washington was part of a wider American plot against the latest South Sudan peace agreement. The paper said that the rebel leader had gone to the US to rally support from the South Sudanese diaspora. General Cirilo is the head of The National Salvation Front, which publically rejected the peace deal on 5 August 2018 citing a lack of credibility and accusing the peace guarantors, Sudan and Uganda, for placing their own interest above lasting peace in South Sudan. The rebel leader demanded that a federal system of governance be introduced in South Sudan.