Home | News    Thursday 24 April 2014

US says it’s “horrified” by Bentiu massacre amid calls for UNSC sanctions

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April 23, 2014 (WASHINGTON) – The White House issued a strongly worded statement on Tuesday condemning the killings that occurred in Bentiu, the capital of South Sudan’s Unity state, last week where the death toll is believed to be in the hundreds.

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The attack took place when rebel forces, who have been fighting the government since last December, overran Bentiu in mid-April.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said on Monday that more than 200 were killed and over 400 wounded when rebel forces entered a mosque in Bentiu sheltering civilians. The rebels have reportedly segregated individuals on the basis of their ethnicity, and then escorted some to safety and killed the rest.

Furthermore, UNMISS said that several men, women and children were killed for hiding inside Bentiu hospital and not joining fellow members of the Nuer ethnic group who had gone onto the streets to welcome the rebels forces.

Individuals from other South Sudanese communities, as well as Darfuris, were specifically targeted and killed at the hospital, UNMISS added.

Rebels were also accused of using radio station to push for the commission of more killings.

The White House said that “images and accounts of the attacks shock the conscience”.

“Stacks of bodies found dead inside a mosque, patients murdered at a hospital, and dozens more shot and killed in the streets and at a church – apparently due to their ethnicity and nationality – while hate speech was broadcast on local radio. Bulldozers have buried the dead in mass graves, and the number of people seeking protection at the United Nations camp in Bentiu has grown from 8,000 to more than 22,000 in only two weeks,” said a statement from the White House press secretary.

The press release said that the US is “equally appalled by the armed attack last week at the UN Mission in South Sudan site in Bor that killed at least 48 civilians and injured dozens more”.

“These acts of violence are an abomination. They are a betrayal of the trust the South Sudanese people have put in their leaders. This is exactly the violence and suffering the South Sudanese people fought for decades to escape. Both President Kiir and Riek Machar must make clear that attacks on civilians are unacceptable, perpetrators of violence on both sides must be brought to justice, and the cycle of violence that has plagued South Sudan for too long must come to an end,” the statement adds.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to impose sanctions on South Sudanese figures connected with the abuses.

“The killing of more than 50 people in a UN base in Bor and the gruesome massacres of hundreds of civilians in Bentiu shows that ethnically motivated brutality against civilians is spiraling out of control,” said Daniel Bekele, HRW’s Africa director.

“The UN Security Council needs to act decisively to impress on the warring parties targeting civilians in South Sudan that they will pay the price for their crimes,” Bekele said.

“A new UN Security Council resolution should also require UNMISS to provide regular and timely public reporting of human rights violations committed during the course of the conflict, which the mission has not been doing. The African Union’s Commission of Inquiry, which deployed in April to investigate human rights violations, should also urgently investigate the recent attacks in Bentiu and Bor and press both sides to bring those responsible to justice,” HRW said.

Diplomats at the UN said on Tuesday that they stand ready to take punitive measures against South Sudan after holding a closed-door meeting today to discuss the situation there. The UNSC members were also shown a video from the aftermath of the Bentiu massacre.

“Unless there are serious consequences for the parties to cease the violence and engage in meaningful talks ... the toll on innocent civilians will continue to rise,” UN peacekeeping chief Hervé Ladsous told reporters after the meeting, according to Reuters.

“The United Nations is doing everything it can to protect the civilians that are fleeing the violence, the war, but let us never forget that the primary responsibility for protection of civilians is with the government,” Ladsous added.

The French ambassador at the UN, Gerard Araud, said that “I think we are ready to go down the road of sanctions”.

“We have also to face the fact that maybe we can’t cooperate with this government anymore because atrocities are committed by both sides. So I do think we have to have some soul-searching about what the UN do,” Araud told reporters.

Araud’s US colleague Samantha Power posted on Twitter that “For the sake of the people of South Sudan, [the] international community must sanction political spoilers and those who target civilians”.

(ST)

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  • 24 April 08:41, by Jalaby

    Well, US should reap what they planted before!
    US separated the south from Sudan and instead of helping them building their new born country and stand close to them they turned their back on them and let them face death,hunger,disease,war,conflict,etc!
    That explains clearly the real goal of US and west, they never believe in the south as true nation and could have

    repondre message

    • 24 April 08:47, by Jalaby

      a real country ready for survival but their real agenda was to dismember Sudan, dismantle Sudan and weaken it!
      US created this mess in the south by separating a country that does not have any real chance for survival, you created it and you’ve to deal with it!!! condemn, threat to use sanction,threat to punish, bla bla are all bullshit and won’t help you!!!

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      • 24 April 09:07, by Majongdit

        Jalaby,
        There are no regrets ever over the separation of South Sudan. You have no choice. It shall forever remain like that.

        repondre message

        • 24 April 09:26, by Northern Sudanese

          thats good, because I want it to remain like this too :)

          repondre message

    • 24 April 08:48, by mathem jech amer

      Jalaby
      All the things you mentioned are happening in the north, death, hunger, disease all in Blue Nile, Nuba, Darfur etc. pls solve your internal problems before putting your nose in SS affairs.

      repondre message

      • 24 April 09:25, by Northern Sudanese

        mathem jech amer
        you cannot physically compare the crisis in s sudan to those in n sudan.right now s sudan is on the verge of the largest african famine in history, 3-7 million are about to starve. in months you already lost control in 3 state capitals.can’t be compared to small scale mini rebellion which is nearly fully crushed in darfur, bn is finished only some small pockets in s kordofan left

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        • 24 April 10:23, by Hardball

          Jalaby and Northern Sudan;
          You’re Sudanese parasite sucking only on South Sudanese resources for survival therefore; the last thing you guys need to do is voicing your loud mouths on South Sudanese affairs!

          repondre message

          • 24 April 11:03, by Northern Sudanese

            Hardball
            hello, wake up dude south sudan has been independent for the last 3 years. we don’t depend on your resources whatsoever, its you who depend on your oil for 98% of your economy. all we do is get some transit fees for exporting the oil through the ports and in a few years time sudan itself will produce more than s sudan. that is beside the rest of the sudanese economy

            repondre message

          • 24 April 11:05, by Northern Sudanese

            by the way, south sudan gets 80% of its food from sudan. ignore the juba dominated market by ugandans and kenyans, nearly all food of the rural south sudan which is 90% of the population gets 80% of the food from sudan. the $4 billion gap on sudan’s economy in 2011 is now just less than $900 million excluding transit fees so I don’t know what resources your referring too

            repondre message

        • 24 April 13:15, by South South

          Northern Sudanese and Jalaby,
          If I have to say something about two of you I will say this:
          1- Jalaby is just a vagabond, people should leave him alone.
          2- Northern Sudanese is a big lair and his comments above can explain everything about his lies.

          repondre message

      • 24 April 09:27, by Jalaby

        You guys are the wrong people at the wrong time at the wrong place!
        You’ve no right to have an independent country because the concept of nation doesn’t apply on you, here is the definition of nation:"a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory"

        repondre message

        • 24 April 09:37, by Jalaby

          Just tell me, what do you’ve in common in terms of history,culture,language,etc?! nothing!
          You’re now not just creating problem to yourselves and brutally killing each others but posing a real threat to the hole region and putting it at great risk!
          For sure US & the west cannot wait till the whole region falls in chaos and collapse because of you but they will soon

          repondre message

          • 24 April 10:03, by Jalaby

            correct their big mistakes and bring you back to unity with Sudan, I mean to "slavery", unfortunately that’s your fate guys and no one can do anything about it! US and the west can’t let you put the whole region in jeopardy and for sure they will prefer unity "slavery" over it because it would be the least damage!!!

            Jalaby (Abo Jalabia)

            repondre message

  • 24 April 08:41, by mathem jech amer

    The first man to be sanction is Riek, followed by Gatdet, then Gathoth Gatkuoth, then James Koang plus government officials last.

    repondre message

  • 24 April 08:50, by philipdit wol

    I wonder How best would be to help Riek Machar? if he is killing innocent Nuer, Darfurian who did not participate to his selfishness democracy. God may you rest these innocent guys their soul in peace they do not know why they were kiiled.

    repondre message

  • 24 April 09:58, by Peter Marko

    Rebels thought the world will not condemn them since Obama is on their sides, thus acted with impunity. Little did they know that Obama will distance himself from them, when they commit inconceivable crimes against humanity. Now, the heat on Machar ass, and the western powers will throw him under the bus, b4 he knows it. I wonder what the rebels supporters, Bantiu son and Midit are thinking now.

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    • 24 April 12:29, by Malakal county Simon

      US government will never put sanctions on Dr Machar and his group, because they know very well those people’s who are killed in Bentui recently are not real civilians.... Because if they were, why were they sheltering in Mosque, Churches, Hospital, why not UNIMISS, instead if they were armed?

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      • 24 April 12:41, by Malakal county Simon

        According to Bentui massacre killings survivors; They said what happened in Bentui was a government plan to when they heard the rebels are advancing toward,so what they did was to killed as many mercenaries from darfur and Nuers, to make look as the rebels did the act after they left Bentui Town!!!! This is true stories from Bentui massacre survivors.... And the US government knows this very well.

        repondre message

        • 24 April 12:50, by Malakal county Simon

          That’s being said and if i were Salva Kirr, i should start prepares for my lawyers to ICC, because the US government and the UN are secretly preparing/gathering evidences against Kiir....

          repondre message

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