South Sudan

Juba Conflict: Mutineers Attack UN Bases, Massacre Fleeing Refugees


visit geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>According to our sources, more about the massacre occurred during violent clashes between Government forces and rebels, medications with the number of people fleeing to UN installations now reaching 35,000.

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At the time, 43 Indian peacekeepers, six UN police advisers and two UN civilian staffers were present at the base.

“About 30 South Sudanese had sought shelter from the turmoil plaguing areas of Akobo County,” the Mission said in a statement.

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said he was “appalled” to learn of the attack on the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Akobo and demanded that Government and opposition forces respect the rights of civilians and ensure their safety and security.

“UNMISS is doing everything it can, within its means and in a very fluid situation, to protect civilians, as well as United Nations and international personnel on the ground,” a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said.

“There are indications that civilians may have been killed and wounded in the attack, but this remains to be verified. Should these reports prove true, those responsible must be held accountable for their crimes.”

“The future of this young nation requires its current leadership to do everything possible to prevent South Sudan descending into the chaos that would be such a betrayal of the ideals behind its long struggle for independence,” said Mr. Ban’s statement, issued only hours after Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, warned of the potential for even greater turmoil.

“Violence is spreading and could spread even further and we need all South Sudanese leaders and political personalities now to immediately appeal [for] calm and call on their supporters to suspend hostilities,” Mr. Eliasson said.

“Political dialogue is the only way to prevent further escalation.”

In a statement strongly condemning the attack, UNMISS said it is doing everything possible to ascertain the circumstances on the Akobo base and secure the safety of its personnel who remain there, adding that it plans to dispatch aircraft today, Friday morning to evacuate UN personnel.

“The Mission fully expects all forces, whatever their allegiance, to ensure the safety of UNMISS personnel and any civilians located inside Mission premises,” it added.

UN spokesperson, Farhan Haq, said the Government has reported to UNMISS that there has been youth mobilisation and movement towards its base in Bor, in Jonglei state, where it is sheltering over 14,000 civilians.

Earlier in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said an estimated 20,000 people, mainly women and children, are still camped at UN premises in Juba.

Others are reported to be leaving the town in fear of attack by rival groups, in what she called a rapidly deteriorating security situation.

“We have received reports of civilians killed in Juba based on their ethnicity,” she added.

“I call on the Government to send a clear message on command responsibility within the SPLA (South Sudanese Army) to prevent retaliatory attacks based on ethnicity and tribal affiliation and to hold the alleged perpetrators accountable,” she added.


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