South Sudanese army attacked a base sheltering UN civilians

Author : Mircea Birca | Monday, February 22, 2016
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News
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Nairobi – South Sudan government troops took part in a possible “war crime” attack killing at least 18 civilians in a UN base, residents, rebels and sources of assistance to the AFP.

At least 18 people were killed and over 70 injured in clashes in the camp of the UN Wednesday to Thursday in the city of the northeast of Malakal, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said, including two of their own staff killed. Forty-six of the injured had bullet wounds.

Residents reported gunmen shooting in crowded places in the crowded camp tents and basic shelter housing more than 47,700 people fleeing a civil war that began in late 2013.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) blamed the clashes on rival tribes in the camp – “between the Shilluk and Dinka youth” – said “at least seven people were killed.”

He added that “such an attack against civilians and United Nations premises may constitute a war crime.”

Resident Jacob Nhial described government troops wearing the uniform of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) “to shoot at civilians” with fighting taking place in the camp, and gunfire from soldiers to outside.

Confidential Communication UN seen by AFP also said that SPLA soldiers took part in the attack.

“The troops of the SPLA 50-100 numbering entered the UNMISS POC sector 1 and 2 in Malakal would attack the displaced, shooting sporadically, burning tents and looting of property,” the document internal the UN bed

POC, or the protection of a civilian site, is the acronym for the United Nations to the places where civilians of southern Sudan are expected to be safe, protected by peacekeepers is then moved to the UN term uses for displaced people inside.

An entire section of the camp was razed to the ground, with sporadic gunfire still heard in Malakal on Friday morning, according to aid workers.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said half the camp had fled their homes – about 25,000 people – with areas, “looted and burned, including shelters, clinics and water tanks.”

The UN mission has more than 12 000 peacekeepers with half of them deployed solely to protect nearly 200 000 civilians sheltering in bases across the country.

spokesman of the SPLA Marko Mayol said he had no information on reports that government troops were involved.

rebel spokesman James Gadet, condemned the “heinous crimes committed by the government,” asserting militia were issued with guns “by government elements” in what he called “a breach of agreement peace.”

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