December 21, 2016 (JUBA)- At least one person has been confirmed dead and several others sustained injuries when a passenger vehicle travelling from Juba to Labonok on Juba-Nimule road came under attack by unknown gunmen on Wednesday.
- General view of Juba Nimule road leading to Nimule Park and neighbouring Uganda (Pinterest photo)
Several eyewitnesses and local administrative officers told Sudan Tribune that the incident on Wednesday morning took place between Kuriti and Kit. The passenger vehicle was travelling to Labonok area, home village of Vice-President James Wani.
The identity of the attackers remains unclear and no group has come out to claim the responsibility, though authorities are keen to point an accusing finger to the armed youth allied to the former First Vice President turned rebel leader, Riek Machar.
The attack comes after the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday warned during a briefing to the UN Security Council that a genocide was about to start in South Sudan unless immediate action is taken. He reiterated his call for the Security Council to impose an arms embargo.
“If we fail to act, South Sudan will be on a trajectory towards mass atrocities. The Security Council must take steps to stem the flow of arms to South Sudan,” Ban told the 15-member body.
Ban said reports foreseen President Salva Kiir and his supporters are planning a new military offensive in the coming days against opposition troops allied to armed opposition leader Riek Machar in the country. There are clear indications Machar and other opposition groups are also pursuing a military escalation.
The top UN official noted that his special adviser on the prevention of genocide, Adama Dieng, has described genocide as a process in South Sudan but said he was “ afraid that process is about to begin unless immediate action is taken.”
Dieng told the council last month that he had seen all the signs that ethnic hatred and targeting of civilians could evolve into genocide in South Sudan, where forces allied to the former first vice president and government troops predominantly members of ethnic Dinka of president Salva Kiir, have been engaged in an on and off battle, despite repeated declaration of ceasefire and several amnesties.