Home | News    Wednesday 1 January 2014

S. Sudan rebels refute UN claims of “mass killing” in Unity state


December 31, 2013 (BENTIU) - South Sudan’s army (SPLA) forces who rebelled against the government 10 days ago in Unity state have dismissed a United Nations report alleging that 75 Dinka soldiers were buried in a mass grave in the capital, Bentiu.

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Civilians seeking protection, arrive in the UN House compound on the southwestern outskirts of Juba (AFP PHOTO).

On 24 December a statement by Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that a mass grave had been discovered in Unity state.

But Peter Riak Gew, a spokesperson for the rebels told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that the report was "not true" adding that "there is no mass grave here."

"The fighting that broke out within the army on 21 December killed only 15 soldiers", he clarified.

Gew criticized the Geneva-based Human Rights UN body for failing to conduct a proper investigation before making the claim. He further said Pillay should have spoken to the UN mission in the country to find out the real situation.

The rebel spokesperson said reports of a mass grave was "propaganda", adding that the UN team that visited Bentiu after the clashes had the correct information.

The Commander of the South Sudan army in Unity state, James Kaong, said he rebelled after members from the tank division attempted to kill him on the evening of 20 December.

Kaong has since also stated that reports of Nuer civilians being killed in Juba following an alleged coup attempt on 15 December was also part of his decision.

South Sudan’s former Vice President Riek Machar, who is a Nuer, has denied allegation by President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, that the fighting in Juba was an attempted military coup.

The UN’s humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, has estimated that over 1,000 people may have died in the violence that has now displace 180,000.

The SPLA have said that the fighting in the militarily barracks in Rubkotna, just outside the Unity state capital Bentiu, was between those loyal to President Kiir and those loyal to Machar.

After mass grave report by various media outlets, the UN mission in South Sudan said it received reports about the discovery of mass grave in the Unity state capital containing the bodies of 75 soldiers of Dinka ethnic origin.

“Latest reports suggest that this is an inflation of a skirmish resulting in about 15 fatalities, with details to be confirmed. UNMISS is therefore not in position to verify the existence of such a mass grave in Unity state thus far”, said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

The UN said it was deeply concerned over reports of extra-judicial killing in Juba and others locations in South Sudan and is investigating reports of such atrocities.


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  • 1 January 08:57, by Anna

    We are weary of Mr. Machar and his followers’ lies and propaganda. Who can believe them any more? let us talk about peace, not violence.

    repondre message

    • 1 January 09:52, by Akook

      This Dinka VS Nuer mentality won’t take this nation ahead! Let’s accept facts. I’m a Dinka myself and I know mass killings of innocent Nuer civilians was carried out by Salva Kiir’s presidential guards units predominantly from his Warrap recruits! HRW is serious, then they have to investigate this within Juba esp areas of Jebel, 107, etc Not Bentiu..!

      repondre message

      • 1 January 12:16, by Snipper

        Nuer civilians in Juba were the one who brought death on themselves because they decided to fight in civilians clothes and shoot at the presidential guards. We are waiting to see the formation of Nuer’s nation and their presidency.

        repondre message

        • 1 January 12:39, by omoni jr.

          you just hate and killed Nuer civilians because of leadership?? was this what mr.genocidal regime SPLM fought for 21 ?? Dinka are hypocrits, why are they always blaming Omar Al Bashir for killing his own people in Darfur and yet they committed the same shit yesterday against Nuer civilians who nothing with Reik’s politics.

          repondre message

      • 2 January 08:50, by Mayom County Boy

        TO" Akook please tell your fellows dinka people nuer are coming to take kiir goverment very soon .
        because with out that it mean we did nothing in our life we nuer peopel .
        believe my dear ,very soon there will be no dinka on power a gain or to be minister again , anless we are not a life .

        repondre message

  • 1 January 14:11, by Mapuor

    Those are lies,there are mass graves in Bentiu,Leer,Nyaal and Mayom.All Dinkas of Pariang and Abiemnhom who were in Police,Prisons,Wild life and SPLA have been massacred in all Nuer counties.

    repondre message

    • 1 January 18:19, by Deng II

      You right bro,the Dinka Pariang and Abiemnhom some time they low to report massacre Nuer done to them always.I don’t know, is it because they don’t respect Nuer.All the massacred in 1991 onward and 2013 are no where to be report.Do they thinks that if they reports it,it can legitimate Nuer, they regards as cowards creatures, that killed their people always that happened to be on Nuerlands

      repondre message

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