World Bulletin / News Desk
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has condemned the targeted killing of more than 200 civilians in rebel-held Bentiu, capital of South Sudan's Unity State.
"These are very bad acts and, as UNMISS, we strongly condemn them," UNMISS spokesman Joseph Contreras told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
He said that the killings had occurred between April 15 and 16 after rebels loyal to sacked vice-president Riek Machar had captured the town.
"UNMISS strongly condemns the targeted killing of civilians based on their ethnic origins and nationality in Bentiu," the U.N. mission said in a statement.
The mission also denounced the use of radio broadcasts by some opposition figures to incite hatred.
"While some SPLA-in-opposition commanders did broadcast messages calling for unity and an end to tribalism, others broadcast hate messages declaring that certain ethnic groups should not stay in Bentiu – and even calling on men from one community to commit vengeful sexual violence against women from another community," the statement read.
According to the U.N. mission, over 200 people were murdered and 400 others injured in various places of worship – where they had sought refuge – in Bentiu.
"SPLA-in-opposition soldiers similarly asked civilians who had taken refuge there [in houses of worship] to identify their ethnic origins and nationalities and proceeded to target and kill several individuals," read the UNMISS statement.
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when President Salva Kiir accused Machar of trying to overthrow his regime.
The conflict has already claimed more than 10,000 lives, with the U.N. estimating that some one million South Sudanese have been displaced by the violenceLast Mod: 21 Nisan 2014, 17:41