Sudan Military Court Orders Govt to Pay $20,000 to Raped Aid Workers

A South Sudanese military court Thursday ordered the government to pay a total of $20,000 in damages to the five foreign aid workers raped in a 2016 raid on a hotel in the capital Juba.

The amount represents $4,000 each to the aid workers and as well as to the family of a local journalist killed in the attack.

The judge, Brig,-Gen. Knight Briano, found 10 soldiers guilty of rape and murder during a rampage in the capital in 2016 and sentenced them to 14 years in prison.

The attack at the Terrain Hotel in the capital was one of the worst on foreign aid workers since South Sudan was plunged into conflict in 2013.

Eleven soldiers were on trial but one was set free due to the lack of charges against him.

The court also ordered the government to pay 51 head of cattle to the relatives of the local journalist who was killed in the raid.

The hotel owner is also due to receive compensation for the destruction and looting of his property.

The court case was widely seen as a test of will by the government of President Salva Kiir to bring accountability in the military that has long drawn accusations of widespread rights violations and a culture of impunity.

Gen. Briano delivered his judgment before a group of diplomats, aid workers and officials who have filled the military courtroom Thursday to hear the ruling.

The charges stem from the attacks in the Terrain Hotel in Juba in 2016, when dozens of soldiers broke into the compound, killed a local journalist and gang-raped five international aid workers while UN peacekeepers nearby did not respond to pleas for help.

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