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UN envoy condemns killing of children in Unity State

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April 24, 2012 (JUBA) — The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict has condemned Monday’s bombing in South Sudan’s Unity state, which killed two children and injured at least six people.

“Two 14-years old boys were killed and injured during aerial bombardments on a market in Rubkona, Unity State,” said Radhika Coomaraswamy.

“Air raids in heavily populated areas killing and maiming children are grave breaches of international humanitarian law,” she added, while urging the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) to immediately stop these “indiscriminate” attacks.

Tensions between the two countries intensified in the last few weeks after South Sudan occupied the Heglig oilfield in Sudan’s Southern Kordofan state on 10 April. On Friday last week, South Sudan announced its withdrawal from the oilfields in response to demands from the international community.

Khartoum says that they forced South Sudan’s army (SPLA) out of the area killing over 1,000 soldiers in the process. Juba deny this figure and accuse SAF of carrying out ground and air attacks inside South Sudan.

Following Monday’s attack South Sudanese government officials in Unity State accused Sudan of ignoring the recent calls by the international community to end the border conflict between the two nations.

“Sudan and South Sudan should both refrain from further confrontation in an effort to spare innocent civilians from further suffering,” said Coomaraswamy.

Both the United States (US) and the UN condemned Monday’s bombing of the newly independent nation by neighbouring Sudan as the situation threatens to escalate into a full-scale war between the countries.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the Sudanese bombing campaign in a statement calling on "the government of Sudan to cease all hostilities immediately".

He said there would be no military solution to the border dispute and called on the leaders of both sides "to stop the slide toward further confrontation and... to return to dialogue as a matter of urgency".

In a related development, The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) also condemned the continued aerial bombardments in Bentiu town, which is heavily populated by civilians.

“These indiscriminate bombings resulting in the loss of civilian lives must stop,” said Hilde F. Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan.

“I remind the parties to the conflict of their obligation to abide by international human rights and humanitarian law, take all measures not to harm civilians, and guarantee the safety of international aid organizations and United Nations personnel and assets,” Johnson added.

(ST)

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  • 25 April 2012 07:53, by Dinkawarrior

    Condemning without action is like empty promised! We know what you’re working for!

    repondre message

  • 25 April 2012 09:38, by Daniel Buolmawei

    All such nonsense condemnations are nothing to Sudanese leaders who have no respect of your world status. They will continue inflict suffering and pains on South Sudanese people whom their leaders betrayed by succumbing to world political rhtorics of personal interest and nothing else.

    repondre message

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