Home | News    Tuesday 22 April 2014

S. Sudan rivals trade accusations over human rights abuses

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April 21, 2014 (JUBA) - South Sudanese government officials on Monday accused rebels loyal to former vice-president Riek Machar of committing “all kinds of immeasurable atrocities” when they recaptured Bentiu, the Unity state capital last week.

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The newly appointed caretaker governor of Unity State Joseph Montuil (Photo: Larco Lomayat)

Joseph Nguen Monytuil, the state’s caretaker governor told Sudan Tribune in an interview that what he witnessed had never ever occurred in the history of the Neur ethnic community. Not even his personal aides were reportedly spared by the rebels.

"What happened after the rebels of Riek Machar entered Bentiu town had never occurred in the history of our community? Some innocent civilians who could not run away when they [rebels] came and thought they would not be killed because they were members of the same community were executed, heartlessly," said Monytuil.

"Not even single person had survived from those who did not run. Only those who run into the UN [United Nations] camp in Rubkona survived. Everything has been destroyed", he added.

The caretaker governor, during the exclusive interview, also wondered what the rebels wanted to achieve with the mass killings, looting and destruction of key infrastructure every time they took control of certain areas from government troops.

“I really do not know what they [rebels] want to achieve with this destruction and mass killings of innocent civilians. I don’t know the objective of this rebellion. They killed even their own people, their own relatives. They destroy public infrastructure. I am told people who did not go to receive them when their leaders entered the town after our forces withdrew were killed", asserted the governor.

He further said most of those killed were accused of either being his supporters or were seen as loyal to President Salva Kiir and his leadership.

"They[rebels] accused them of being my supporters and the president. They have committed immeasurable atrocities in their own communities," Monytuil told Sudan Tribune, adding that "Those who came are from the area".

South Sudan army (SPLA) spokesperson, in a separate interview, also accused the rebels of having committed “all kinds of atrocities” during last week’s attack.

“They [rebels] have committed all kinds of atrocities. When they entered the town, we are told that they went straight to the hospital and removed all those fled there and killed them. They did exactly what they did in Bor and Malakal. They killed sick people in the hospital. They raped and killed women. The elderly were killed. All the foreigners were killed", Phillip Aguer told Sudan Tribune.

He added: "They did not leave anybody when they entered".

The UN mission in the country said when rebel forces captured Bentiu on 15 and 16 April, they searched several places where hundreds of South Sudanese and foreign civilians had taken refuge and killed hundreds of them after determining their ethnicity or nationality.

"These atrocities must be fully investigated and the perpetrators and their commanders shall be held accountable", Raisedon Zenenga, the officer in charge of the human rights department said in a statement issued Monday.

Zenenga reminded the parties of their respective obligations to protect civilians and called on them to immediately stop the targeting of innocent, unarmed civilians, and to respect the cessation of hostilities agreement they both signed in January.

On 15 April, the top human rights officer said, several Nuer men, women and children were killed at Bentiu hospital for allegedly hiding and declining to join their tribemates who had gone out to cheer the SPLA in Opposition forces as they entered the town.

“Individuals from other South Sudanese communities, as well as Darfuris, were specifically targeted and killed at the hospital. On the same day, the SPLA in Opposition forces entered the Kali-Ballee Mosque where civilians had taken shelter, separated individuals of certain nationalities and ethnic groups and escorted them to safety, while the others were killed. More than 200 civilians were reportedly killed and over 400 wounded at the Mosque," Zenenga noted in the statement.

"At the Catholic Church and at the vacated WFP compound, SPLA in Opposition soldiers similarly asked civilians who had taken refuge there to identify their ethnic origin” it added.

The world body further said its mission, between 15 and 17 April, extracted hundreds of civilians who were facing threats of violence in several places in Bentiu and Rubkona where they had taken refuge.

"Over 500 civilians, including many wounded, were extracted from the Bentiu hospital and other places, while thousands were escorted as they walked to the UNMISS base", is noted, adding that it is currently protecting over 12,000 civilians in its base.

REBELS DISMISS CLAIMS

But Hussein Maar Nyuot, a former deputy governor-turned rebel spokesperson told Sudan Tribune their forces only target government soldiers, not innocent civilians.

“This is not true. Our forces don’t do that. How can they [rebels] do that while they rebels are fighting for them [civilians]? They are fighting to free them from the bondage and sufferings introduced by the government of Salva Kiir. These allegations do not reflect any trust but clear fabrications by the government which had forced the United Nations to report what suits their interest." Nyuot exclusively said Monday.

"Our forces fought the government soldiers which I suspected to be the ones the United Nations is reporting to be civilians. Some of them (government soldiers) could not flee in time and did not want to surrender”, he added.

The rebel official further claimed it was against their culture to kill innocent civilians.

"What is being alleged is not part of the culture of our forces. They operate under strict instructions and clear directives. They are very discipline and operate with clear rules of engagement. They engage the targets, who do not include civilians. It is the government forces that do that," Nyuot observed.

"What happened in Bor is a clear testimony. That is part of their culture," he added.

The rebel spokesperson also claimed what happened in Bor when armed youth attacked a UN based "reflects the intention of the government of Salva Kiir to exterminate a certain tribe," which is what our forces are resisting.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 22 April 06:44, by mathem jech amer

    For the first time for UNMISS to condemn and accept killing of civilians by rebels that means civilians killed in Bentiu could be in thousdands NOT hundreds.

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    • 22 April 07:11, by omoni jr.

      This is another fabrication Juba ,AKA salva kiir lies in order to cover the genocide the commited in Bor and Juba, who is going to listen to this deadend lies? Go hell theives.

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      • 22 April 08:19, by Frak Cho

        Omoni Jr, your will never accept the truth till death. This is not fabrication, this UNMISS body reporting not government. The UN toured Bentiu town. It was a fact finding by UN body. What are you trying to defend man! For UN acknowledging that said number, it could be higher than that!

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      • 22 April 14:12, by mathem jech amer

        Omoni jr
        UNMISS is your supporter and if they accepted what you did not based on assumption but it is what they saw by themselves, hence you should not deny any more as you do it. better now stop having close relationship with UNMISS.

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    • 22 April 07:29, by Malou Manyiel

      We have now got Boko Haram (Machar’s rebels) in South Sudan, whose sense of humanity is lost. The war is already endless. What had happened in Bentiu is clear genocide according to the UN reports. The hate messages read out on FM radio that declared wide rape and killings of innocent civilians, both children, women and elderly people amount to genocide.

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    • 22 April 09:52, by Tong dut

      Mr governor are you a Dinka?
      If you are a dink keep supporting Kiir or you die.
      Who create a coup? Kiir or MACHAR?
      Take care or otherwise you will face it from Kiir.Even if you are a governor,he will kill you like any Nuer.

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    • 22 April 12:53, by Gat Gan Kiir

      Those who run and hide when Freedom Fighters enter the town are Kiir’s militias and JEM and the likes, they deserve to be killed since they killed our people in their thousands, UN and Juba militias must refrain from that nonsense. We are fighting to kill this is a objective of war. When you get us kill us and when we get you we will kill you, simply as that.

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      • 22 April 14:20, by mathem jech amer

        Gat Gan Kiir
        Dinkas of Warrap now accepted the war as between Nuer & Dinka and their youth now well armed. They killed over 200 Nuer cattle raiders 2 days ago at Gogrial area and will soon match to get cattle in Unity state plus killing anyone including children, women, blind, sick or magicians.

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  • 22 April 07:36, by Ambago

    Mr. Governor you can’t say, " I am told people who did not go to receive them when their leaders entered the town after our forces withdrew were killed".n your
    Because the question that begs is, " where were you when those assumed to be under your excellency’s care and protection were being massacred as you claim?

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  • 22 April 08:21, by Yuol

    God has mercy on our people. the situation is really getting out of hand, media involvement will widen the hatred between/among our innocent communities. some day those of you with siding comments will one time realize that National interest is more important than an individual needs. If you are a Dinka or Nuer or from any other tribe with such hate comments, you also contribute to the killings

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    • 22 April 09:23, by Malakal county Simon

      Its not Nuer/rebels objective to kills civilians, because were fighting Kiir loyalists to free them from genocidal regime in Juba!!!!

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  • 22 April 09:24, by truth to be told in SS

    Maar Nyuot, please accept the truth and it will set you free. The extrajudicial execution of civilians has been documented by all UN and non governmental agencies. Wheter in BOR, MALAKAL, and recently in BENTIU, the mass human violation has clearly be recorded. Please stop denial and accept the truth. Majority of those targeted in Bentiu are Nuers. Killing your own blood is very pathetic at least

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    • 22 April 11:35, by omoni jr.

      the truth to be told in ss,
      you mention ,Bor,Bentui, and malakal,? Are you really telling the truth or just a Dinka mere truth?? why you allegedly jumped Juba which is the source of the south sudan crisis/conflict??? I blame you sir,you just defend the Dinka interest, but not nation.

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      • 22 April 12:08, by John The President

        Omoni
        I blame him too, how he Jump Akobo yet its the first place where Nuer arm youths mercilessly executed Dinkas in UN compound. not only that he has also jump the most disturbing scene of Bailiet County where over 300 women, children and elderly men were killed in churches, school and clinic. I join you in blaming him because you belief mentioning the atrocities its what will bring peace.

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        • 22 April 12:14, by John The President

          and be informed that South Sudanese are not willing to join Riek camp, let his Ngungdeng bring him to presidency in our watch. I can a South Sudanese just join the devil lead movement, interesting though, the person in Ngundeng prohersies Could be Hoth Mai, Dr Monytuil, and many other Nuer with palaja if the south Sudan belief in devil which I think will not happen. Riek must get out of the way,

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          • 22 April 12:22, by John The President

            Omoni and all Riek Supporters
            here is what always come in my mine and I have said this many times that " the Nuer have taken their humble time to internalize this conflict will testify to their fellow Nuer misled by Riek that the have lost a good number of youth in a meaningless war". Riek war its taking different shape, the international communities are turning away in favor of gov’t.

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            • 22 April 12:28, by John The President

              I have no doubt in my mine that his rebellion will just end in less a month from now. he has no vision and his past record have spoken and the US, EU, and the whole world has learned enough. he abondon this youth Lou Nuer youth in the desert and run to Khartuom. God knows where those of Lado Gore, Maar Nyuet, and many other will go seeking daily bread. let wait, the darkest days of 1991 the befelt

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              • 22 April 12:31, by John The President

                SSIM are back again for Riek, Bashir will get tied of providing safe haven for him this time. I argue Monytuil to take the responsibility of searching for Riek in our bushes in Unity state should the dark day soon unfold.

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  • 23 April 05:46, by Odingo

    Stupid Mingtuil. Why you run away if you have asupporters?You are son of bitch. If your father still alive today he would have killed you in broad day light because you have weak blood of your mother, but we will do the job for him. you killed 17,600 Nuer in Juba b/c of money, we will get you my friend very soon.Nuer don’t kill their own pple, don’t be stupid liar. pple like y deserve to be killed

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    • 23 April 09:03, by Wicdail

      What is this fool in the piture talking about? where were he, when the so call JEM and SPLA kill and rape innocent Nuer civilians and destroy all their villages? He has never been in the media since the crisises began; when Kirr mass murders Nuer and their allises. By the way, him and his thugs in uniforms were the ones who denied civilians’entries into UN camp before the rebels came in.

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    • 23 April 09:15, by Wicdail

      Con. JEM’s millias could have droped their weapons at the UN gates and run for safety into UN hands, in stead of running into the religious centries while carrying weapons. This so call care taker must shutup. Nuer have looss faith with him. He will never be trusted again.

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