April 18, 2014 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese government has strongly condemned Thursday’s incident in which armed gunmen attacked a United Nations base in Jonglei’s state capital, Bor.
- South Sudanese information minister Michael Makuei Lueth attends a press conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 5 January 2014 (Photo: AP/Elias Asmara)
A statement from the UN mission in the country said the “unprovoked attack” came under the “guise of peaceful demonstration” organised by youth.
Government officials, however, assured on Friday that they would cooperate with world body to determine the motive behind the attack on a base, which currently houses more than 5,000 displaced civilians.
Medical sources told Sudan Tribune that at least 30 people died following the incident which saw youth march towards the protection of civilians site in Bor.
South Sudan’s information minister Michael Makuei Lueth told reporters on Friday that government would probe the incident to determine who first fired the shot.
“Before the presentation of the protest [letter by the youth] and for unexplained and unclear reasons, gunshots were heard and this lead to breakdown of peaceful procession,” said Makuei, flanked by his foreign affairs and interior counterparts.
"Both the government and UNMISS [UN Mission in South Sudan] will cooperate to establish the cause of the firing and “culprits will be brought to books," he added.
Deng Dau Deng, the chairperson of the Greater Bor lawmakers in Juba, described Bor as a home to all citizens, denying its people were responsible for the procession.
“Bor is cosmopolitan town and I am told even a youth from Sudan was injured during the shooting,” said Deng, who also denied the issuance of any ultimatum demanding that Nuer internally displaced people leave Bor town.
Foreign affairs minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said “there is no reason to revenge.”
“The government and rebels are at peace talks and civilians should give peace a chance,” he said, urging the international community to support the peace process.
“This is an elected government and everybody know that,” Marial stressed.
Violence broke out in the South Sudan capital in mid-December last year and later spread to three of its 10 states. More than a million people, the UN says, have since been displaced within the country, with 280,000 fleeing to neighbouring countries.