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Child shot dead, 8 injured in Unity state clashes

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November 3, 2014 (KAMPALA) – One child is dead and at least eight other people seriously wounded following last week’s clashes between rival South Sudanese forces in the twin towns of Bentiu and Rubkotna in Unity state.

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Internally displaced people at a UN camp in Unity state capital Bentiu on 29 October 2014 (ST)

Multiple sources told Sudan Tribune on Monday that a child was confirmed dead after being shot in the head, while a six months pregnant woman was in a serious codition after being shot in the chest.

Medical charity has operated on a number of people at a UN protection site who were wounded during the violence.

An aid worker who spoke with Sudan Tribune on condition of anonymity says the injured people were shot when clashes erupted over control of the strategic, oil-producing region.

“These people were shot as a result of stray bullets when the two groups fight around Rubkotna. When they fire [at] each other most of the bullets landed inside the UN camps,” said the source.

The aid worker that that although calm had now been restored, tensions remained among the rival groups in the area.

Internally displaced people sheltering at the UN base said that the recent resumption of hostilities between pro-government and opposition forces had sparked panic among the nearly 50,000 residents.

The UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, visited Bentiu last month where she conducted a series of interviews with rape victims sheltering at the UN compound.

The UN official, who hails from Sierra Leone, accused rival groups of putting women and girls on the battle frontlines, saying both sides were responsible for fuelling ethnic-related violence.

She says the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has also documented crimes committed by both conflicting sides.

Around 100,000 South Sudanese people were forced to seek protection at UN camps around the country after violence erupted in mid-December last year, with almost half of those sheltering in the oil hub town of Bentiu.

Bentiu has been the scene of tense exchanges between government and opposition forces, changing hands several times throughout the more than 10-month-long conflict.

Senior UN officials have warned the warring parties against using sexual violence as method of warfare, saying such actions constitute a war crime or crime against humanity.

The world body has stressed that both sides will be held accountable for any atrocities committed during the crisis, warning those responsible could face persecution in both national and international courts.

Government and rebel forces have been engaged in an armed struggle since a power struggle within the country’s ruling party (SPLM) erupted in violence, triggering tribal tensions across the young nation.

The violence initially flared in the capital, Juba, before spreading to other parts of the country.

Thousands have been killed and more than 1.5 million displaced, with hundreds of thousands of people fleeing to neighbouring countries.

Ongoing peace talks between the warring parties in Ethiopia have so far failed to achieve a lasting political settlement to the crisis, with both sides accusing each other of violating a ceasefire deal signed in January.

(ST)

- US condemns renewed military clashes in S. Sudan’s Unity state
- S. Sudan rebels claim control over Bentiu amid government denials
- S. Sudan’s rival forces clash over control of oil-rich town

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  • 4 November 2014 06:07, by Lorolokin

    I strongly blame the British for barcoding the two communities the Dinka and the Nuer otherwise things could have been ok by now as such those people don’t understand and they don’t want to understand either. Look at Riak Macher who is a doctor still don’t understand and continue to enjoy killing innocent people while his own family members are studying in Europe,

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    • 4 November 2014 06:19, by Johndumo14

      - Why you worry about , One child is dead and at least eight other people seriously wounded following last week’s clashes between rival South Sudanese forces in the twin towns of Bentiu and Rubkotna in Unity state.six months pregnant woman was in a serious -These are Nuer tribe,even if they die in thousands,this Group of IDP in UN camp are supporting rebels ,so let them feel the war,let nuer die!!

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      • 4 November 2014 09:57, by choldit

        "... Let Nuer die." Said Johndump. That is what good thing u one can hear from Dinka and dinkanized south Sudanese but they went to hired Ugandan UPDF, sudan rebels and other massenaries to get protection from Nuer. One shld wonder why the Uganda can’t really leave Dinka and dinkanized southsudanese to face the Nuer?

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        • 4 November 2014 11:39, by Hardlinner

          Quit lying choldit. Uganda soldiers are not in bahr el ghazal region, upper nile and unity state. It is same dinkas that are fucking over just like they did in 1991.The facts is your nuer rebels aren’t gonna win this war. Just give up like you always do.

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