Pillay urges South Sudan leadership to curb alarming violence against civilians

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Navi Pillay

Grave concern is being expressed over the serious and growing human rights violations taking place daily in South Sudan during the past 10 days.

And the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Tuesday called on the leadership on both sides to protect civilians and refrain from instigating violence based on ethnic grounds.

Pillay said "Mass extrajudicial killings, the targeting of individuals on the basis of their ethnicity and arbitrary detentions have been documented in recent days," adding: "We have discovered a mass grave in Bentiu, in Unity State, and there are reportedly at least two other mass graves in Juba."

She warned "There is a palpable fear among civilians of both Dinka and Nuer backgrounds that they will be killed on the basis of their ethnicity."

The High Commissioner also expressed serious concern about the safety of those who have been arrested and are being held in unknown locations, including several hundred civilians who were reportedly arrested during house-to-house searches and from various hotels in Juba. Hundreds of members of the South Sudan National Police Service were also reportedly ordered to be disarmed and arrested from police stations across Juba.

Pillay reiterated her call on the authorities to reveal the whereabouts of all those who have been detained, including political leaders, and to refrain from conducting further arbitrary detentions.

Donn Bobb, United Nations Radio.

Duration: 1’12″

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