Juba - South Sudan's army raped then torched girls alive inside their homes during a recent campaign notable for its "new brutality and intensity", a UN rights report said on Tuesday.
Rights investigators from the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) warned of "widespread human rights abuses" in a report based on 115 victims and eyewitnesses from the northern battleground state of Unity, scene of some of the heaviest recent fighting in the 18-month-long civil war.
The military, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), launched a major offensive against rebel forces in April, with fierce fighting in Unity state's northern Mayom district, once a key oil producing area.
"Survivors of these attacks reported that SPLA and allied militias from Mayom county carried out a campaign against the local population that killed civilians, looted and destroyed villages and displaced over 100 000 people," the UN statement read.
"Some of the most disturbing allegations compiled by UNMISS human rights officers focused on the abduction and sexual abuse of women and girls, some of whom were reportedly burnt alive in their dwellings.