News / Africa

UN: Rebels Massacred ‘Hundreds’ of Civilians in South Sudan

South Sudanese fleeing an attack on the South Sudanese town of Rank, wait with their belongings after arriving at a border gate in Joda, along the Sudanese border, April 19, 2014.
South Sudanese fleeing an attack on the South Sudanese town of Rank, wait with their belongings after arriving at a border gate in Joda, along the Sudanese border, April 19, 2014.
Margaret Besheer
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan says rebels killed “hundreds” of civilians in ethnically-motivated attacks when they captured the town of Bentiu last week.  

The U.N. strongly condemned what it called targeted killings of civilians which took place along national and ethnic lines.

In a statement, the U.N. mission, known as UNMISS, said more than 200 civilians were reportedly killed and over 400 wounded in the Bentiu's mosque, where they had gone to flee the violence.

It said fighters with the rebel force, known as the SPLA in Opposition, separated individuals based on their ethnicities and nationalities, safely escorting some out of the mosque and killing others.

Similar attacks were reported at a Catholic church, an evacuated World Food Program compound and Bentiu hospital.  Sudanese of Darfuri ethnicity were also targeted.

The U.N. also condemned the use of the local radio station by rebels to incite killings and rape.

U.N. Peacekeeping Spokesman Nick Birnback told VOA that UNMISS has deployed additional peacekeepers from its 8,000-plus strong force to Bentiu and other locations where attacks have been reported.  

“But the truth of the matter is, is we can’t be everywhere at all times," Birnback said. "Also, our peacekeepers are focusing on protection of civilian sites, where we are sheltering thousands and thousands of terrified IDPs [internally displaced persons] who are fleeing the violence and who are depending on us for their security.”

Last week, peacekeepers helped get hundreds of civilians in threatened areas in Bentiu and Rubknona to their base for protection.  The base is now refuge for more than 20,000 people.

The U.N.’s Birnback said there is “a vicious cycle” of attack and counter-attack happening.

“Civilians are, as always, are bearing the brunt of it," Birnback said. "We are doing everything we can to work with local authorities to try to not only investigate, but deter.  But ultimately, it is the authorities in South Sudan who are going to have to take action to stop these terrible events from continuing to occur.”

Fighting erupted in South Sudan in December, as the army of President Salva Kiir and rebels allied with his former vice president Riek Machar began fighting each other.  Violence has now displaced more than one million South Sudanese from their homes.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: George from: Juba
April 22, 2014 6:36 AM
For my Opinion. The World really forgot to look very carefully inside South Sudan tribes. This new nation has the historical tribe conflict some 100 years ago,the Great Britain knew very well and they keep silence. This killing now in juba,joungli. Malakal.bantiu,and another's county. Let us talk the fact this two tribes mr N and mr D are people who going to distroy this nation. Out from 64 tribes only this two tribes becomes adiassater in the whole country If u as any one from this two community why fouth with Arab,iam sure no one will tell u the answer. What happen in Bantu is buness war u buy any people from everywhere to come fight at the of the day u pay them. This is what taking place in southsudan


by: wenyin from: canada
April 21, 2014 7:52 PM
The United Nation will regret their failiour to stop this provication by few Nuer, this may take a wrong turn into an all out cleansing and the world should notice the vivid restrain by the people of South Sudan towords UNMISS until now. What a joke "800 strong," ? Stop fleecing Southern Sudanese victims and know that every actor on this conflict will be held accountable at the end. Does the U.N ( Arabs World) really know what they are doing ? There is a move, that can't be stopped by arms or anything and a plan to transition the government of South Sudan into a RED! The foundation has been laid already during the gurella struggle and the leaderships were trained in Cuba. The current war is but a tip of an iceberg ( The bigger intentions). Though Riek Machar's protest was logical and marred with attrocities, the leadership left him uninformed about the big price ( Turning the Nation into China like ruling Communist Party). Riek sensed that move but was unsure about the whole government's move ( Kiir is just a small boy to the shado leadership of South Sudan; that is why he began throwing accusations at Kiir's leadership. There is nothing wrong about adapting to any political model but don't leave others who may disgree uninformed. Some crazy stuff going on in Africa and the democratic nations are bussy in their amusements. There is still some things yet to be salvaged.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid