At least 232 civilians were killed and 120 women and girls raped in attacks by South Sudan government troops and aligned forces in opposition-held villages, the U.N. human rights office said on Tuesday.
A United Nations investigation identified three commanders suspected of bearing the “greatest responsibility” in the violence in Unity State between April 16 and May 24 that may amount to war crimes, it said in a statement.
“The perpetrators …must not be allowed to get away with it,” said U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein.
South Sudan has been dogged by a civil war for more than five years, sparked by a feud between President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar, once the vice president.
Kiir accused Machar of plotting to overthrow his government, allegations the latter denied but then went on to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.
The war has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions others, prompting the UN to rank the country as Africa’s biggest refugee crisis.
A peace deal was however signed last week in Ethiopia, as Kiir and Machar pledged to work together in a unity government.