UN: S Sudan rebels attack UN base in possible 'war crime'

2015-07-02 17:12
File: AFP

File: AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Juba - South Sudan rebels opened fire on a UN peacekeeping base sheltering 30 000 civilians, killing one and wounding six in a possible war crime, the UN said late on Wednesday.

Fighters in the rebel-held north-eastern town of Malakal, capital of the key oil-producing Upper Nile state, opened fire on the UN base, with peacekeepers returning fire.

"Any attack on a protection-of-civilians site constitutes a direct assault against the United Nations and may constitute a war crime," the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said in a statement, condemning the attack "in the strongest possible terms."

"The wounded are currently receiving treatment at the hospital inside the UNMISS compound, and one is said to be in a critical condition," it added.

Over 142 000 civilians are sheltering in UN bases across the country, and have been attacked previously by warring forces.

Horrific violence

Malakal was attacked and captured on Saturday by rebels led by ex-government general Johnson Olony, accused by aid agencies of forcibly recruiting hundreds of child soldiers.

Civil war began in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of planning a coup, setting off a cycle of retaliatory killings that have split the poverty-stricken, landlocked country along ethnic lines.

A UN report this week described horrific violence in the latest fighting in the 18-month long war, where witnesses said the army gang-raped girls and torched them alive in huts.

On Wednesday, the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on six commanders. The six generals - three from the government forces and three from the rebels - were punished with a global travel ban and an assets freeze for their role in the worsening conflict.

The European Union and United States last year had already slapped sanctions on three of those listed by the UN, apparently doing nothing to stem the violence.

Four years since South Sudan won its independence, two-thirds of the country's 12 million people need aid, according to the UN, and one-sixth have fled their homes.

Read more on:    un  |  riek machar  |  south sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.