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UN: South Sudan Rebels Killed Hundreds on Ethnic Basis

Monday, 21 Apr 2014 04:19 PM

Rebels allied to former Vice President Riek Machar who seized the city of Bentiu last week killed hundreds of civilians seeking shelter there, after determining their ethnicity or nationality, the UN Mission in South Sudan said.

“These atrocities must be fully investigated and the perpetrators and their commanders shall be held accountable,” Raisedon Zenenga, the officer in charge of the mission, said in a statement on its website.

Rebel forces said on April 15 that they had gained control of Bentiu, the capital of oil-rich Unity state, after clashes with government forces. The conflict in the world’s newest state, between factions loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Machar, erupted in December and has left thousands of people dead and driven a million from their homes, according to the UN.

The UN mission said opposition forces entered a mosque in Bentiu where hundreds of civilians had taken shelter, and killed some after separating them on an ethnic basis. It said more than 200 people were reported to have died at the mosque on April 15, while civilians sheltering at other locations suffered similar attacks.

Rebel spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said that his group’s forces didn’t target civilians. If such attacks did take place then others were responsible, he said in a phone interview.

Sexual Violence

Some rebel commanders broadcast statements on local radio calling for sexual violence against women from some ethnic groups, the UN mission said.

The mission said it had evacuated hundreds of civilians who faced the threat of violence, and is currently protecting more than 12,000 at its base.

South Sudan’s oil output has fallen by about a third since the civil strife began. It’s producing about 160,000 barrels a day from Upper Nile, the only state still pumping crude. In an interview last month, Machar vowed to seize the Upper Nile oil fields.

Production in Unity state was estimated at about 50,000 barrels a day before it was suspended in December. It’s due to resume by July, the Petroleum Ministry said last week.

 

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Rebels allied to former Vice President Riek Machar who seized the city of Bentiu last week killed hundreds of civilians seeking shelter there, after determining their ethnicity or nationality, the UN Mission in South Sudan said.
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2014-19-21
Monday, 21 Apr 2014 04:19 PM
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