Major fighting between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and ethnic Fertit in Wau state, South Sudan, on 24 June resulted in 43 people killed and over 70,000 displaced. According to the UN, at least 12,000 people are being protected near its base in Wau. Some government officials reportedly used hate speech to incite ethnic violence. The UN Security Council issued a Press Statement on 1 July calling on the Transitional Government of National Unity to investigate and prosecute those responsible for possible war crimes.
A surge in violence since June has led the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to warn of a potential major re-escalation of conflict in the Central African Republic. Fighting between rival armed factions in Bambari, CAR’s second-largest city, on 4 July claimed the lives of at least 15 people. Action must be taken by UN peacekeepers against predatory armed groups who continue to threaten civilians.
On 3 July a bomb was detonated in a busy marketplace in Baghdad, Iraq, amidst crowds of people celebrating Ramadan in a mainly Shia neighborhood. The sectarian attack, perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), killed at least 250 people. Meanwhile, on 4 July Minority Rights Group reported that Iraq’s minority communities are “on the verge of disappearance,” having been killed, abducted, or forced to flee by targeted violence. The report found that ISIL has committed “war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide” in its attacks on Iraq’s religious minorities.
On 8 June the UN-mandated Commission of Inquiry on the situation of human rights in Eritrea released its second report. The report concluded that systematic and widespread crimes against humanity have been perpetrated in the country for two decades, including the use of torture, enforced disappearances, rape and murder of civilians by the government. On 1 July the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution condemning gross human rights violations, urging the government of Eritrea to end its abuses and calling for the international community to hold perpetrators accountable.