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Official: More than 20 South Sudanese soldiers charged over killing civilians, more sought

A South Sudanese military official says more than 20 South Sudanese soldiers have been charged with murdering civilians during fighting.

Col. Philip Aguer told reporters on Monday that since mid-December, when fighting broke out in the capital Juba before to spreading across the country, at least 70 soldiers have been arrested and charged over civilian killings and other abuses. Some suspects had gone into hiding after learning an investigation is under way, he said.

He dismissed a recent report by Human Rights Watch urging South Sudan and Uganda — whose militaries are jointly trying to put down a rebellion led by a former deputy president — to investigate the alleged use of cluster bombs in Jonglei state.

The United Nations says both warring factions in South Sudan have committed rights violations.