Posted by: africanpressorganization | 9 January 2015

UNMISS documents killings of civilians in Bentiu and Bor in April 2014


UNMISS documents killings of civilians in Bentiu and Bor in April 2014


JUBA, South Sudan, January 9, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The UNMISS Human Rights Division today issued a 33-page report concerning allegations that armed opposition forces killed hundreds of civilians on 15 April 2014 after they retook control of the Unity State capital of Bentiu from government troops. The report also documents the killing of dozens of people by a mob of armed men who attacked the peacekeeping mission’s protection-of-civilians site outside the Jonglei state capital of Bor two days later.


Based on the collection and analysis of physical evidence and interviews with 142 sources, the report concludes that there are reasonable grounds to believe that at least 353 civilians were murdered and another 250 wounded in the two attacks. The report found that in both Bentiu and Bor, victims were deliberately targeted on the basis of their ethnicity, nationality or perceived support for one of the parties to the conflict.


Nearly nine months after the attacks took place, no perpetrator has been held accountable by either the Government of the Republic of South Sudan or the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army In Opposition.


According to the report, at least 287 civilians were killed at a mosque in the Kalibalek area of Bentiu by opposition forces after they regained control of the Unity State capital on the morning of 15 April. Many of them were Sudanese traders and their families who were targeted on the basis of their Darfuri origins. At least 19 civilians were killed at the Bentiu Civil Hospital that same day.

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On the morning of 17 April, a mob of mostly men between the ages of 20 and 40 marched to the UNMISS compound outside Bor to demand the expulsion of youths of Nuer ethnicity from the Mission’s protection-of-civilians site. The mob forcibly entered the protection site and went on a rampage of killing, looting and abductions of internally displaced persons (IDPs). At least 47 IDPs died in the attack, and their names appear in the report. There are reasonable grounds to believe that the attack was planned in advance.


The report contains a set of recommendations that includes a call on all parties to the South Sudan crisis to immediately end all fighting, halt abuses and gross violations of human rights and respect the inviolability of United Nations personnel and pre! mises.


“UNMISS strongly condemns the continued killing and displacement of civilians on the basis of their ethnic identity nearly nine months after the events of April 2014,” said Ellen Margrethe Loej, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for South Sudan. “This risks an even greater polarization of the country along ethnic lines with potentially serious repercussions for the state of human rights and the prospects for reconciliation. We call on the parties to end the violence and undertake comprehensive and credible investigations into alleged violations in order to hold perpetrators to account.”





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