UN condemns Akobo attack in which 11 civilians were killed

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Civilians fleeing fighting and seeking refuge wait outside a compound of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), in Bor. Credit: UN Photo/Hailemichael Gebrekrstos

An estimated eleven civilians who sought refuge inside a UN base in Akobo town, Jonglei State in South Sudan have been confirmed dead following an unprovoked attack on Thursday, 19 December.

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) made the announcement on Friday as it carried out aerial operations to evacuate civilians and staff members of non-governmental organizations.

2,000 armed youths believed to be of Lou Nuer ethnicity had surrounded the UNMISS base in Akobo and opened fire in the direction of South Sudanese civilians of Dinka ethnic origin who had sought refuge inside the compound earlier.

Two Indian Army peacekeepers were killed and one wounded while defending the base against the assailants, UNMISS also confirms.

Joseph Contreras is the Acting Spokesperson for the Mission:

"A third Indian Battalion peacekeeper was wounded in the chest. He received medical treatment last night while still in Akobo and he has been airlifted to Juba via the Upper Nile State capital of Malakal. He is in stable condition and we're hoping to send him home to India shortly. We can confirm that in addition to the UN staff that we airlifted out of Akobo this morning, who had survived the attack, 7 South Sudanese civilians were also airlifted to safety"

Hilde Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary General has deplored the "unjustified and unwarranted attack" on the UN Akobo base.

She has called for those responsible of the criminal acts to be held accountable.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’44”

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