Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has told his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir not tolerate impunity against civilians.
President Museveni said impunity against civilians by armed forces could breed mistrust between the people and their government.
He was speaking at the launch of the National Dialogue Steering Committee in Juba Monday, where he was the chief guest.
“Don't tolerate impunity in the army. UPDF has built Uganda because we insisted on discipline. We killed soldiers who raped or killed people,” President Museveni said.
There have been several reports of human rights abuses committed by the government forces against innocent civilians while in combat with rebels.
Although President Kiir recently issued a shoot-to-kill order against soldiers accused of raping or murdering civilians, not a single culprit had been brought to book.
Numerous rape cases committed by government soldiers in Juba and Yei River State were reported last year.
President Museveni, who is Mr Kiir’s close ally, advised the latter to stop hostilities and work for peace and stability.
“The use of violence in every situation is dangerous. Violence should be a last resort and targeted, not indiscriminate,” he said.
He also urged President Kiir to give democracy a chance by allowing open discussion of ideas.
“Speak frankly to each other. Make decisions by consensus. Have regular meetings. Never use force, it should be last resort,” he said.
The Ugandan leader said continuous hostilities in South Sudan were blocking foreign investment opportunities and generally development.
He also warned South Sudan leaders to shun tribalism and embrace unity and cohesion.
South Sudan has been in crisis since 2013 after a fallout between President Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar over reforms in the ruling SPLM party turned violent.