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Top UN official describes “horror” of South Sudan crisis

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January 17, 2014 (JUBA) – A senior United Nations official has said the situation in South Sudan had turned into a horrifying humanitarian and human rights disaster, citing mass atrocities allegedly committed by both rebels and government forces.

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South Sudanese refugees wait at a border gate in Joda, in the Jableen locality in Sudan’s White Nile State, after arriving from the South Sudanese war zones of Malakal and al-Rank, January 16, 2014. (Photo Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

"What I saw was a horror. Destruction and death is everywhere in Bentiu, which has now become a ghost town,” Ivan Simonovic, the UN Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights said on Friday.

"I myself saw some 15 bodies lying on a road. The extent of the looting, burning and destruction is hard to grasp for anybody who hasn’t been there”, he added.

The official, in the country to assess the human right situation, said the conflict in new nation had reached the threshold of an internal armed conflict, causing untold suffering for thousands of civilians.

“Mass atrocities have been committed by both sides”, he observed.

During his four-day visit, Simonovic said he received reports of alleged mass killings, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, sexual violence, the widespread destruction of property and the use of children in the conflict.

“Thousands of people have been killed and hundreds of thousands are now displaced, with some 70,000 people seeking protection in UN camps and 30,000 in the two UN compounds in Juba alone,” he told reporters in Juba.

Simonovic also visited Bentiu, the Unity state capital and the rebel-held town of Bor, where violence has displaced tens of thousands of the South Sudanese population in less than five weeks.

“All civilians have fled the city which was a ghost town. I spoke to the leader of the anti-government forces, Peter Gadet, to remind him of his and his forces’ obligations to protect civilians”, he said.

PROBE INTO RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

In Juba, the Assistant Secretary-General he received allegations of a mass atrocity at a police station in the Gudele neighbourhood of the city where large numbers of civilians were reportedly rounded up, taken to a building and killed because of their ethnicity.

“We are continuing our investigation into this very serious incident,” Šimonovi? said.

The senior UN official, however, stressed the importance of accountability, saying and independent and impartial fact-finding commission be established “without delay”.

“Those who committed these terrible crimes, who ordered them or those who did nothing to prevent them while they were in a position to do so, all these people should be held accountable without delay,” Simonovic said.

Violence erupted in the country’s capital, Juba in mid-December last year and spread to other parts of the country along ethnic fault lines with over 1,000 killed and more than 400,000 displaced, according to UN figures.

(ST).

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  • 18 January 12:01, by Ayom Ayom

    The chaos, despair, and senseless destruction we see today in the town of Bor, Bentiu & Malakal are a result of the alienation that people feel from each other and their environment. Right or wrong, it’s very pleasant from South Sudanese People to break something from time to time.

    repondre message

    • 18 January 12:03, by Dinkawarrior

      Yes "saw horror" but your hands are full with the blood of innocents people. We thought you’re a mediator but we didn’t know that you’re supporting rebels to kill innocents people. How would you talk about humanity while helping blood instead of limited the used of weapons. Your here for there for destruction not to help the poor innocents. Shame on UN for give your tanks to the rebels.

      repondre message

      • 18 January 12:21, by Dinkawarrior

        Yes you "saw horror" but your hands are full with the blood of innocents people. We thought you’re a mediator but we didn’t know that you’re supporting rebels to kill innocents people. How would you talk about humanity while helping bloodshed instead of limited the used of weapons. Your here for their destruction not to help the poor innocents. Shame on UN for giving their tanks to the rebels.

        repondre message

    • 18 January 12:20, by Dinkawarrior

      Yes you "saw horror" but your hands are full with the blood of innocents people. We thought you’re a mediator but we didn’t know that you’re supporting rebels to kill innocents people. How would you talk about humanity while helping bloodshed instead of limited the used of weapons. Your here for their destruction not to help the poor innocents. Shame on UN for giving their tanks to the rebels.

      repondre message

    • 18 January 12:23, by Mapuor

      Why do all rebellions come from greater Upper Nile even when they are dominating all government institutions?We want Americans to come to South Sudan to carry out statistics in all government institutions including uniform services to justify their claim of marginalization.even under Garang who was their son, the same rebellions occurred in Upper Nile.What is a problem?

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    • 18 January 15:51, by Johndumo14

      It is true Riek Machar is miled by a Nuer spiritual leader named Dak Kueth or (Ngun Deng) to mobilise nur army now to take over the president from Salva kiir,the time has come for him to be president of S.Sudan,the spiritual leader named Dak Kueth killed a cow and cut it in pieces,and raised it to life and walk,and the nuer army believe that is true,that is why all the nuer started to fight inJuba

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  • 18 January 12:02, by Dinkawarrior

    Yes "saw horror" but your hands are full with the blood of innocents people. We thought you’re a mediator but we didn’t know that you’re supporting rebels to kill innocents people. How would you talk about humanity while helping blood instead of limited the used of weapons. Your here for there for destruction not to help the poor innocents. Shame on UN for give your tanks to the rebels.

    repondre message

    • 18 January 12:21, by omoni jr.

      Look at commentater above,his mind is too little and full war that will never win it,so why are you talking Simonovic who came to see and witness what your genocidal regime did since day one,december 15,2103.
      Or you are like dog which suffer the diease called rabbies and becomes very wilds to anyone around.

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  • 18 January 12:24, by Mapuor

    Why do all rebellions come from greater Upper Nile even when they are dominating all government institutions?We want Americans to come to South Sudan to carry out statistics in all government institutions including uniform services to justify their claim of marginalization.even under Garang who was their son, the same rebellions occurred in Upper Nile.What is a problem?

    repondre message

    • 18 January 12:32, by Dinkawarrior

      Breaking News!
      Bor is under controlled by our army forces, the SPLA!
      Long live SPLA, Long live South Sudan!

      repondre message

    • 18 January 12:33, by omoni jr.

      Let me give you the answer why they do rebelled, They do it because they Do NOT Like Dictatorship Government,and they do not like tribalist leader like kiir,they do not like leader who keeps preaching hatred and division among the citizens that he claims to rule,finally do not like liar leader,they like honest and trustworthy leader.

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      • 18 January 12:41, by Dinkawarrior

        Omoni
        You’re stupid typical Nuer who doesn’t differntiated the truths from lies.
        Your fool prophet of doom is the one keep preaching tribalism instead of unity, Riek is done and he will never be our president. We thought we forgive him in order to change his behavior but he still running his damn mouth against South Sudanese.

        repondre message

  • 18 January 12:32, by Bol Pur

    It is always my prayer that all perpetuates who killed innocents civilians together with their supporters must face justice. Whoever command soldier must be brought to justice. Those who might associate tribally and encourage destruction from both side must see the World justice facing their tribe men and relatives for killing people. God bless South Sudan.

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  • 18 January 15:01, by Native Boy

    Mr Simonovic
    Its not a matter of hunan rights violation, etc
    What role is played by you when situations go out f hand such as this as a UN human rights man?
    Did you know what causes these theshold autrocities?
    Ofcause, when there is armed conflict such as this, what often comes in your mind? Oofcause, there is death, killings, even the extra judcial you talk about, etc.
    Plse, we expect u to help.

    repondre message

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