(Nairobi) Several senior South Sudanese officials, including a governor, are implicated in serious atrocities committed against civilians and should be prosecuted, an independent group of UN experts assured Monday.

After gaining independence from Sudan in 2011, South Sudan, the world’s youngest state, descended into a civil war between sworn enemies Riek Machar and Salva Kiir, which left nearly 400,000 dead and millions more dead. displaced between 2013 and 2018.

A peace agreement signed in 2018 provides for the principle of power-sharing in a government of national unity, with Mr. Kiir as president and Mr. Machar as vice-president.

Northern Unity State Governor Joseph Monytuil and South Sudan People’s Defense Force Lieutenant General Thoi Chany Reat have been identified in a new report by a group of independent experts from the United Nations in South Sudan which details state responsibility for large-scale killings, rapes and sexual slavery.

The commission, which conducted a year-long investigation across six states in South Sudan and released a partial summary of its findings in March, said none of those named in the final report had been held accountable for his crimes.

“Over several years, our findings have consistently shown that impunity for serious crimes is a central driver of the violence and misery faced by civilians in South Sudan,” says commission chair Yasmin Sooka, in a press release.

“We have therefore taken the initiative to name more individuals who warrant criminal investigation and prosecution for their role in gross human rights violations,” she continues.

According to the report, the Governor of Unity State as well as Lieutenant General Thoi Chany Reat are involved in the killings in County Mayom in August 2022 in which four captured rebel officers were summarily executed by the troops governmental. Three were killed by firing squad and a fourth was burned alive in a hut.

The report also singles out Gordon Koang, the county commissioner for northern Koch County, accused of carrying out attacks on civilians in a neighboring county between February and April 2022.

“Although the government of South Sudan has announced special commissions of inquiry into several situations, none have led to any form of accountability,” the panel said.

Military and government officials implicated in these abuses “remain in office”, according to independent UN experts.

Authorities in Juba accused the UN commission of interfering in its national affairs and rejected previous findings by the three-member panel.

The African Union promised a tribunal to prosecute those responsible for serious war crimes and bring justice to victims, but it never saw the light of day.