UN report released on Tuesday describing a recent raid by the South Sudanese army as a "new brutality and intensity,” after it was revealed that young girls were raped then torched alive.
According to a report based on the accounts of 115 victims and eyewitnesses from the northern battleground state of Unity, a group of human rights investigators from the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) warned of "widespread human rights abuses" amid some of the heaviest recent fighting in the 18-month-long civil war.
"Survivors of these attacks reported that SPLA and allied militias from Mayom county carried out a campaign against the local population that killed civilians, looted and destroyed villages and displaced over 100,000 people," the UN statement read.
"Some of the most disturbing allegations compiled by UNMISS human rights officers focused on the abduction and sexual abuse of women and girls, some of whom were reportedly burnt alive in their dwellings."
UN chief Toby Lanzer warned on June 17, of a catastrophic crisis in South Sudan on Tuesday, saying, “Six months ago, we thought that violence and suffering had peaked and that peace was on the horizon. We were wrong.”
Lanzer was barred from entering the country after he warned of an economic meltdown months ago.
“Political intransigence left peace ever more distant; war raged on and is leading to economic collapse,” he said.
Two-thirds of the country's 12 million people are in need of aid, with 4.5 million people facing severe food insecurity, according to the UN. The civil war, which broke out in December 2013, plunged the African nations into a vicious circle of retaliatory killings after President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup.
The country is now treading a hate stricken path of racial tensions, ethnic massacres, rape and the use of child soldiers.
More than a dozen aid workers have been killed in South Sudan since the civil war began, with many others missing or fleeing the country to neighbouring African nations.
UN compounds and aid convoys have been “looted with impunity” the report added.
The United States said on Tuesday that $113 million worth of fresh humanitarian aid is on its way to South Sudan to help provide food, safe drinking water and emergency health services in the country.
The African Union condemned all the parties in conflict and called on the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on them.
“The continuation of hostilities, in total disregard of the suffering of the people, is tantamount to the abdication by the South Sudanese leaders of their most fundamental responsibility to their own people,” the AU Peace and Security Council said.