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S. Sudanese activists demand probe into existence of cluster bombs

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February 13, 2014 (JUBA) - A coalition of human and civil rights advocacy groups in South Sudan have called for the formation of an independent technical committee to urgently investigate the alleged existence of cluster bombs in the country.

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The remainder of cluster-bombs exploded in Thaon village, near Bentiu, Unity state, South Sudan, April 12, 2012 (ST)

“We call on the parties to the conflict to look beyond short term benefits and demonstrate leadership to immediately and peacefully resolve their differences. Violence can never bring any durable solution,” the group said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

“Political differences should not be resolved through violence but within the limit of laws and international norms and standards,” it added.

Violence broke out in the South Sudanese capital in mid-December last year following a dispute between the presidential guards, but later spread to three of the country’s 10 states killing thousands and displacing nearly a million.

“The use of violence as a mean to claim any right or as a ploy to remain in power should not be encouraged. We therefore call on the people of South Sudan to reject leaders with such views,” noted the group’s statement, which demanded formation of a committee to investigate existence of cluster bombs.

South Sudan, according to the activists, has no capacity to manufacture bombs; an indication that what was being used in the ongoing conflict originated from outside the country.

“It is unfortunate that the conflict appears to have involved the use of dangerous weapons which have been banned worldwide, because of their known adverse effects not only to the warring parties but innocent civil population,” further says the groups’ strongly-worded statement.

For this reason, we call on the government to immediately an independent technical committee to investigate how such a weapon came to the country and take necessary measures, including the banning the use and hold those responsible accountable, it added.

The chairperson of South Sudan’s demining commission, however, said the bombs may have been a remnant of the more than two decade conflict with Sudan, which led to its cessation from the latter in July 2011.

“I heard of the discovery, but in the area which the current conflict, which the result of the December failed coup attempt has never reached. I don’t have full details because we are still conducting more research but I am told that it was found in an area not far from Juba,” said Jurkuc Barac.

“What I know for sure is that this could a remnant of war with Sudan. It has nothing to do with recent conflict,” he added, vowing further investigations in to the incident.

Cluster bombs or cluster munitions are defined as large weapons which are deployed from the air by aircraft, including fighters, bombers and helicopters. The bombs, officials say, may fail to detonate on impact and become de facto landmines, killing and maiming people long after a particular conflict has ended.

“The unexploded ones are more lethal than antipersonnel mines,” said an official from the demining commission, who preferred anonymity.

REBELS DENY USING CLUSTER BOMBS

A spokesperson for the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) In Opposition has, meanwhile, categorically denied their forces were use of cluster bombs in South Sudan’s Jonglei state capital, Bor or any part of the country.

"Our Forces do not have cluster bombs. [The] SPLA and UPDF [Uganda Peoples Defense Forces] used banned cluster bombs against our forces and therefore should be accountable by concerned bodies and institution," said Brig. Gen. Lul Ruai Koang.

(ST).

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  • 14 February 07:26, by Mike Mike

    That is very wrong govt should not loss it fate to use such suffocated and dangerous weapons against its people on this simple conflict that can be resolved on table through peaceful negotiation.We are all brothers and one people so there is no need to kill ourselves to that extent as if we are fighting other people whom are not part of us in the South.internal problem should be handled in soft wa

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    • 14 February 07:32, by Sir King

      We have totally mistrust Kiir’s government. World should work hard to form interim administration before we go for the next election. Kiir has totally destroy the name of Dinka as Riek is also destroying the name of Nuer. And mostly Kiir, weak leader like a pumpkin. Museveni is destroying his government but as he is weak, he doesn;t know completely. Blind and dump leader.

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    • 14 February 10:29, by Mapuor

      Mike Mike
      In a war of attrition,you maximize your fire power.Those splinters are not cluster bombs.Those are splinters from normal shells.We are tired of Nyagaats,their illiterates are allowed to hold the highest ranks in the army,police,prisons etc yet,they are not contented.Any weapon that might aid to end the war quickly is militarily recommendable to be used.

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  • 14 February 07:30, by Wicdail

    Remmber, when a brave man fight with a coward using hands, the coward will runs for objects such as stick. When with sticks he will runs for spear. When with spear, he resort to use gun and so on. this is what happen. UPDF-SPLA have no Superior whatsoever other than using all means to win this conflict against Dr. Machar forces. But they will all fail at the end.

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    • 14 February 07:48, by Tutbol

      "S. Sudanese activists demand probe into existence of cluster bombs"
      S Sudan activities have got its wrong this one, i am not advocating for a use of any weapon against S Sudanese peoples though, including cluster bombs; but it is becoming clear that our so-called S Sudanese activities are nothing, but the employs of some criminals in the West to spread & preach their to S Sudanese...

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      • 14 February 08:05, by Bentiu son

        Kiir’s hidden agenda to wipe out,exterminated n depopulated Nuer tribe from South Sudan map had came into surface.The dual President of South Sudan/Uganda Yoweri Museveni n his Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit had used deadly cluster bombs against Nuer warriors who were advanced to Juba to destroy their genocidal regime.UN must investigated this otherwise using chemical weapons will be common pr

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        • 14 February 10:12, by michael coma

          If Riek blood sucker can’t stop killing innocent people of Bor,he will be bomb with Hydrogen weapons.If i have chemical weapons i would have use them against Riek Machar before peace succeeded.This man called Riek Machar is destroying Nuer community indirect but soon Nuers will release how Riek is misusing them.I have no problem with Nuers apart from hooligant called Riek.

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      • 14 February 08:06, by Tutbol

        ’correction’ but some employs & criminals in the West want to spread & preach their twisted evils to S Sudanese. N Sudan had been using smoking bombs on us, in Eastern & Central Equartoria on our peoples & before our peoples, independence & even in recent *Panthou war*, but when the SPLA reported their claims to the UN, SPLA/M have yet to recieved any response from the UN!

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        • 14 February 08:24, by Tutbol

          But because the US-Europeans sponsored Nuers armed rebellion against the peoples of S Sudan & the invitation of Ugandans troops to help S Sudanese elected secure S Sudanese vital properties, because of the mass defections of the Nuers organised armed malitias that was vast part of the S Sudan’s army, but were/aided by the criminals in Europe & the US...

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