[Marxism] Where's George Clooney and Mia Farrow when you need them?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Aug 27 08:19:06 MDT 2011


NY Times August 26, 2011
South Sudan Police Assault U.N. Human Rights Official
By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN and JOSH KRON

NAIROBI, Kenya — South Sudanese police officers beat up the head of the 
United Nations human rights division in South Sudan, leaving him in the 
hospital and drawing a sharp rebuke from the United Nations.

According to a United Nations statement released on Friday, Benedict 
Sannoh, the United Nations’ human rights chief in the newly independent 
Republic of South Sudan, was assaulted by more than 10 police officers, 
“who beat, kicked and punched him in a sustained fashion while he was in 
a fetal position on the floor.”

The attack happened on Aug. 20, after Mr. Sannoh refused to let police 
officers search his luggage at a hotel in Juba, the capital of South 
Sudan, which declared its independence from northern Sudan in July. Mr. 
Sannoh was cut and bruised and hospitalized for five days before being 
sent abroad for further medical treatment.

“The High Commissioner considers this incident to be totally 
unacceptable,” said the statement from the Office of the High 
Commissioner for Human Rights. “Unless those responsible are held to 
account, this will send a chilling message to all those working in the 
defense of human rights in South Sudan.”

South Sudan is one of the poorest, least developed nations in the world, 
the legacy of decades of civil war and intentional marginalization by 
Arab rulers in northern Sudan. The country has been plagued by fighting 
between an array of armed factions — both before and after formal 
independence — and its security forces are widely known to be 
undisciplined and violent. Aid groups have recently complained about 
government security personnel hijacking humanitarian convoys.

This is not the first time police officers have been accused of serious 
abuses. United Nations officials and witnesses said that police 
commanders and soldiers beat and raped police recruits at a training 
center outside Juba last year. The recruits were also subjected to harsh 
training exercises, leading to the deaths of as many as 100 people.

South Sudanese officials said Friday that they did not have details 
about the attack on Mr. Sannoh but that they were looking into it.

“Whatever happened, the government is taking a step up to secure the 
situation,” said Mangar Amerdid, a government spokesman. “We will do a 
full investigation.”

South Sudan’s stability is also threatened by several rebellions and 
bitter ethnic fighting. At least 600 people have been killed, 200 
children kidnapped, tens of thousands of cattle stolen and 7,900 homes 
destroyed in recent battles between the Murle and Lou Nuer communities. 
On Friday, the United Nations announced that it was sending peacekeepers 
to act as a buffer between these communities and to discourage revenge 
killings.

Jeffrey Gettleman reported from Nairobi, and Josh Kron from Kampala, Uganda.




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