The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
South Sudan refuses UN peacekeepers access to 'massacre site' Open in fullscreen

Robert Cusack

South Sudan refuses UN peacekeepers access to 'massacre site'

The SPLA government fighters were reportedly fighting rebel troops in the area -AFP]

Date of publication: 6 April, 2017

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
UN peacekeeping forces have been repeatedly refused access to the scene of fighting between government and rebel troops in South Sudan where fears that a massacre have occurred.

UN peacekeepers have been prevented from accessing the site of an alleged massacre by South Sudanese forces (SPLA), close to the Ugandan border.

The UNMISS troops were turned back by government soldiers twice in recent days, after they were sent to investigate eyewitness reports that a mass-slaughter of civilians had taken place at the site.

"Our colleagues at the UN Mission in South Sudan reports that UN peacekeepers have been prevented twice, in as many days, from accessing Pajok in Eastern Equatoria by the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA)," said Eri Kaneko, a UN spokesperson.

A rebel spokesperson announced on 3 April that government forces engaged rebel troops in Pajok before continuing to "kill civilians, rape women and loot property".

"These criminal acts against civilians and attacks on our bases are only the beginning of what is planned in Juba for this month of April," said Lam Paul Gabriel.

"Civilians are now running to Uganda for safety."

It has not been possible to independently verify these claims as the phone lines to Pajok have been cut.

One refugee told Reuters at the border with Uganda that government soldiers had murdered his two brothers.

"When they saw them slaughtering my brother, people scattered and started running. When they were running, they shot my other brother," Password Okot said.

More than 1.5 million people have fled South Sudan in the last nine months, with nearly two thirds of that number going to Uganda.

The UN has warned for months that a genocide status may be applied to South Sudan, as multiple reports suggest that government troops are responsible for ethnic cleansing.

After gaining independence from Sudan in 2011, South Sudan descended into war in December 2013, leaving tens of thousands dead and 3.5 million people displaced.

An additional 7.5 million people are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, according to the UN, in the midst of a man-made famine.

The Juba government is seen as largely responsible for the famine by the UN.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More