"Heart-wrenching" evidence of executions in South Sudan's Bentiu town

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Toby Lanzer speaking to injured man at UNMISS protection site in Unity State capital Bentiu. Photo: UNMISS / Tina Turyagyenda

Evidence of atrocities, including executions, committed in the South Sudanese town of Bentiu have been described as "heart wrenching" by a UN official.

Toby Lanzer, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator went to the town to assess the situation after opposition forces took it over last week.

About 22,000 civilians there are now sheltering in a base of the UN mission (UNMISS).

Mr. Lanzer said there was evidence of "severe" violence that targeted individuals.

"What I have so far seen in the mosque and in the other parts of town has really been very heart-wrenching. Certainly atrocities have been committed here on a very significant scale. We have seen several dozen remains of people who were clearly executed, including people who were trying to seek shelter in a mosque and it also looks as if a woman who was trying to get into a mosque who was mowed down as she was seeking shelter." (26")

Mr. Lanzer called on the authorities in South Sudan to ensure the safety of civilians.

He added that the United Nations will scale up assistance, including water, sanitation and health care to the displaced people at the base.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1’14″

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