World Bulletin / News Desk
Authorities in South Sudan’s Warrap State say more than 50 people were killed in the past two days, following a raid on villages by heavily-armed gunmen in military uniforms.
“We have confirmed that indeed more than fifty people were killed," the state's Commissioner Anei Wol Anei told the Anadolu Agency on Monday. "Gunmen in military uniform went on a killing spree and after accomplishing their mission vanished into bushes.”
The security situation has deteriorated in Warrap since a coup to unseat South Sudan's President Salva Kiir was crushed in December.
“These days we have many, many gangs of people moving freely in villages, attacking and robbing people,” Anei said.
Killings occurred between Saturday night and early Monday. Most of those killed, according to the commissioner, were women, children and the elderly.
Until last month, Warrap state was relatively calm but tense, although fighting between government troops and rebels has been taking place in nearby Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states.
The oil-rich Unity state shares borders with Warrap, which is located south of the disputed region of Abyei and straddles the border between South Sudan and Sudan.
UN Peacekeeping chief wants South Sudan ceasefire
The head of the United Nations peacekeeping operations has appealed to the South Sudanese government and rebel forces to comply with last month's ceasefire agreement signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
Speaking Monday to local and international journalists, shortly after holding private talks with South Sudan President Salva Kiir, Herve Ladsous stressed the importance of stopping hostilities.
“Priority must be for the cessation. Both sides must comply with the ceasefire agreement," he said. "I conveyed to the president the total support of the United Nations, but beyond that we also must work collectively on a political solution because there can be no solutions other than political to this crisis.”
Ladsous - who has just concluded a two-day visit to the country - spoke about the role that the U.N. has played in protecting civilians who sought refuge at its camps in Juba and other places.
“Had this not been done, it would have been how many thousands or maybe tens of thousands of civilians would have been killed.”
The U.N. has estimated that some 740,000 people have been internally displaced, with some 75,000 others taking refuge at its camps, since the South Sudan conflict erupted December 15.Last Mod: 04 Şubat 2014, 10:01