Months have passed since the trial of a dozen South Sudanese soldiers accused of gang-raping foreigners and killing a local journalist in a July 2016 rampage, and both the defense and prosecution say they are frustrated by the indefinitely postponed verdict said to be waiting in the office of President Salva Kiir.
Victims say they feel forgotten, while the lawyer for the detained soldiers says his clients’ rights are being violated while the verdict is delayed without apparent reason.
“It seems that the international community, South Sudan’s government and the organizations involved have forgotten about this horrible incident,” the Italian aid worker who was the only foreign survivor to testify in person told The Associated Press. “I had hoped this trial could have created a precedent for these types of horrific crimes.” She spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.
The trial began a year ago in military court for the soldiers accused of raping five foreign aid workers, assaulting others and killing journalist John Gatluak while forcing the foreigners to watch during an attack on the Terrain hotel compound in July 2016 while renewed fighting erupted in the capital, Juba.