Ban deeply concerned by growing violence in parts of South Sudan

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Civilians seeking refuge in the UNMISS compound in Bor, capital of Jonglei state, to flee violence. Photos: UNMISS/Hailemichael Gebrekrstos

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is deeply concerned about continued reports of growing violence in many parts of South Sudan, human rights abuses and killings fuelled by ethnic tensions.

In a statement, the Secretary-General has demanded that Government and opposition forces respect the rights of civilians and ensure their safety and security. He reminded them of their responsibilities and accountability under international humanitarian law.

He said UNMISS is doing everything it can, within its means and in a very fluid situation, to protect civilians, as well as United Nations and international personnel on the ground.

The Secretary-General was appalled to learn of Thursday's attack on an UNMISS base in Akobo, where civilians had taken refuge. He noted that there are indications that civilians may have been killed and wounded in the attack, but this remained to be verified. Should these reports prove true, those responsible must be held accountable for their crimes.

The statement said the Secretary-General supports the initiative of the ministers of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to support dialogue among political opponents. And, he called on the Government and political opposition to make good use of this opportunity to restore security and the democratic process in South Sudan.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’11″

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