Ten South Sudanese soldiers have been convicted of rape and murder committed during a raid on a hotel in Juba two years ago.
A local journalist was killed and five international foreign aid workers were gang raped when a group of 50 to 100 soldiers stormed the Terrain Hotel in the South Sudanese capital in July 2016, according to testimony by the hotel’s manager. An American aid worker was also shot and wounded during the siege.
The soldiers were sentenced to between seven years and life in prison by a military judge Thursday. Another soldier who was facing the same charges was acquitted due to a lack of evidence. The military judge also ordered the government to pay $4,000 in restitution to the each of the rape victims, and over $2 million to the hotel’s owners.
A 12th soldier charged in the raid died in custody.
The victims say they called U.N. peacekeepers stationed near the hotel and pleaded for help, but none came. The Kenyan military officer in command of the mission was dismissed.
South Sudan has been plagued by civil war since 2013 as a result of a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than 4 million South Sudanese driven from their homes, with at least 2 million fleeing the country.