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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/22/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Rebels ruthlessly pursued and shot killed refugees in hospitals, mosques and churches

In some of the worst violence yet in the world's newest nations, hundreds of unarmed men, women and children were slaughtered by rebels in the South Sudanese town of Bentiu. Refugees had sought refuge in a hospital, mosque and a Catholic church, the United Nations says. The latest mass slaying has exacerbated ethnic tensions between Kiir's Dinka people and Machar's Nuer.

More than one million people have fled their homes since fighting broke out in December between troops backing President Salva Kiir and soldiers loyal to his sacked vice president, Riek Machar.

More than one million people have fled their homes since fighting broke out in December between troops backing President Salva Kiir and soldiers loyal to his sacked vice president, Riek Machar.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/22/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: South Sudan, rebels, massacre, Nuer


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Rebel troops overran Bentiu, the capital of the oil producing Unity State this week. More than one million people have fled their homes since fighting broke out in December between troops backing President Salva Kiir and soldiers loyal to his sacked vice president, Riek Machar.

Rebels "searched a number of places where hundreds of South Sudanese and foreign civilians had taken refuge and killed hundreds of the civilians after determining their ethnicity or nationality," the U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan confirmed.

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The U.N. mission, known as UNMISS, strongly condemned the targeted killings on April 15-16 and the use of Radio Bentiu FM to broadcast hate speech.

Some rebel commanders broadcast messages calling for unity, "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," UNMISS said in a statement.

Nuer men, women and children were killed for hiding and not joining other Nuers in cheering the rebels as they entered the town in a hospital. People from other South Sudanese communities and from Darfur in Sudan were also targeted and killed, the United Nations said.

Rebels also entered the Kali-Ballee Mosque, a Catholic church and an empty World Food Program compound. The armed rebels escorted some people to safety -- and killed others.

"More than 200 civilians were reportedly killed and over 400 wounded at the mosque," the U.N. mission said.

U.N. peacekeepers rescued more than 500 civilians from Bentiu hospital and other places and escorted thousands more as they walked to the U.N. base. The U.N. said it is currently protecting more than 12,000 civilians at its Bentiu base.
 
The warring parties in South Sudan agreed to a cessation of hostilities in January, but fighting has continued in parts of South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in 2011 under an agreement to end decades of war.

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