December 25, 2013 (JUBA) - South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit has denounced killing of innocent civilians on tribal basis, warning that he ordered security forces to hold accountable those "criminals".
- President Salva Kiir announcing that SPLA forces had retaken Bor from Peter Gatdet troops, JUBA, on 24 DEC 2013, (Photo AFPTV Soundbite)
The warning statements of president Kiir come after reports by rights groups and activists about the targeting of civilians because of their since violence erupted on Sunday, 15 December in the country.
It was reported that around 450 people many of them Nuer were killed in Juba, following what reports from Bor said rebel soldiers led by Gen. Peter Gatdet killed civilians from the Dinka ethnic group. Also UN officials disclosed that some 75 bodies of Dinka civilians or belonging to the SPLA were killed in Bentiu the capital of Unity state.
Addressing the church congregation in the Cathedral Church at Kator in Juba on Wednesday, president Kiir admitted that elements of his forces had carried out killings in the residents of Juba.
He said that "this orientation is "unacceptable". "It will only lead to one thing and that is to turn this new nation into chaos”.
The president said he ordered security forces to not harass civilians or to loot their properties. "All the unruly and undisciplined soldiers who are behind such terrible acts and who are randomly bent to killing innocent people are criminal and will not escape the long arm of justice and will have to be published", he stressed.
Kiir also called on the former South Sudanese president "Dr. Riek Machar Tney and forces supporting him to do the same”.
Both Kiir and Machar have agreed to talks mediated by other East African countries but so far no progress have been made. Meanwhile the conflict has spread to other parts of the young nation.
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