Amnesty report describes atrocities including torture and rape, as advisers urge UN to protect civilians in ‘treacherous killing fields’

The government of South Sudan and its militias are behaving with vicious brutality in the country, with reports of men being locked in huts and burned to death, and of machete attacks being carried out in remote villages.

The atrocities are just one of the causes of the major refugee crisis in the region, with almost a million people fleeing to Uganda. Out of a population of some 12.5 million, more than 1.7 million are enduring severe hunger, classified as just one step below famine, and the number at risk of starvation is 6 million and growing. On top of that, a fast-spreading cholera outbreak threatens to kill thousands. The human rights group Amnesty International, which has been gathering together reports from the conflict, said forces – those loyal to the government and also some to the opposition – had also cut food supplies to parts of the country.

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