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UN Chief Condemns Attack on UN Compound in South Sudan

  • VOA News

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned a deadly attack on a United Nations compound housing civilians and U.N. peacekeepers in South Sudan.

U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric called the attack on a location where civilians are under U.N. protection a "serious escalation." He also said any attack on peacekeepers is "unacceptable and constitutes a war crime."

Officials say armed youths overran the compound Thursday in the capital of Jonglei state, Bor, and opened fire on internally displaced civilians.

Dujarric said the number of people killed in the attack had not been confirmed. He said dozens of people were wounded, including two U.N. peacekeepers trying to repel the mob.

Officials say some 5,000 displaced civilians were in the compound at the time, including many women and children.

A spokesman for South Sudan's opposition forces, James Gatdet Dak, condemned what he called a "barbaric attack and massacre of unarmed innocent civilians."

Tens of thousands of civilians have been sheltering at U.N. bases across the country since fighting broke out late last year following a rift between President Salva Kiir and his former vice president, Riek Machar.

The U.N. says more than 800,000 people have been internally displaced by violence in South Sudan, and warns that the upcoming rainy season will put more people at risk of food insecurity.