Killings of civilians in South Sudan condemned by UN mission

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Displaced people in South Sudan – UNMISS

The murder of civilians based on ethnicity and nationality in Bentiu, the capital of Unity State in South Sudan, has been condemned by the UN mission in the country (UNMISS).

The mission also denounced the use of Radio Bentiu FM to broadcast hate speech against certain ethnic groups.

According to UNMISS Acting Spokesperson, Joe Contreras, the killings seem to have started when forces loyal to former Vice-President Riek Marchar captured Bentiu on 15 April.

He said men, women and children, believed to be members of the Nouer ethnic group were killed at Bentiu Hospital because they were hiding there and not joining those who cheered the opposition forces as they entered the city.

"On that same day the 15th April opposition forces entered a mosque in Bentiu where civilians had taken shelter. They separated individuals in that religious house of worship on the basis of nationality and ethnic group. Some they escorted to safety others they killed. Also, we believe that over 200 civilians were murdered and others wounded at that mosque." (25")

The UN said opposition forces killed more people at a Roman Catholic Church and at an abandoned World Food Programme compound.

Other ethnic groups not belonging to the Nouer as well as people from the Darfur region of Sudan were also killed, the spokesperson said.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1'30"

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