South Sudanese condemn ‘massacre of civilians’ in Unity State

Juba, October 27, 2015 (SSNA) — South Sudanese, particularly, citizens of the Dok Nuer community have condemned the massacre of more than 140 civilians who were killed this month by government forces in Leer County of the oil-rich Unity State.

In a statement extended to the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA), Dok Community says it is outraged and stunned after learning that Juba-backed troops and their allied militias attacked civilians and burned down their houses. The community also accuses militia groups allied to government of participating in civilian killings.

“…We, the Dok Community in the Republic of the Sudan, condemned in the strongest term possible the killings of hundreds of unarmed civilians by soldiers loyal to Salva Kiir the SPLA_Juba, and their allied armed militias, mobilized from Koch and Mayom Counties by Nguen Munytuil (The Caretaker Governor of Unity State) and Koang Biel (Koch County Commissioner),” the statement reads in part.

The community asserted that government’s forces carried out civilian killings between the 21th of October 21 and October 26, adding that the first incident took place one month after the IGAD-Plus’s compromise peace agreement was signed by South Sudan’s rival factions.

The statement further alleges that children and elderly people were among those killed and blasts government for committing what it described as “inhuman activities” against the Dok Nuer Community.

South Sudanese rebel Riek Machar Teny hails from Dok Community.

The document named Salva Kiir Mayardit – President, Nguen Munytuil Wijang – Governor, Maj. Gen. Thayib Gatluak – GRSS 4th Division Cdr, Maj. Gen. Matthews Puljang_Mayom – militia’s leader, Koang Biel Char – Koch Commissioner and leader of Koch militias, Wal Yach Gatkuoth – Desperate Leer County Commissioner, Khor Gatmai Garang – Desperate Mayiandit County Commissioner, Brig. Gen. Peter Phar Jeck Kuich, Brig. Gen. Samuel Gattet Machar Duoth, Brig. Gen. Kuol Tap Gai, and Brig. Gen. Latjor Gai Daliey as people responsible for the massacre of civilians.

In the text, Dok Community calls on Kiir to respect the recently signed power-sharing deal, urges him to immediately stop the killing of unarmed civilians in Leer County, and other parts of Unity State. The document also calls on the international community to apply maximum pressure on Kiir’s government to stop the killing of civilians, calls on the United Nations (UN) to launch an investigation and revive its commission of inquiry on South Sudan, and add recent incidents in the report to reflect true nature of government’s actions. The community also urges the United Nations Security council (UNSC) to choose other sites that are safe for civilians and provide foods to them.

Last week, Protection Cluster, an umbrella aid agency which represents 60 South Sudanese and international organizations and tracks civilians deaths in the violence-ravaged young nation, said at least 80 civilians have been killed this month and that 57 of those killed were children. Protection Cluster did not say who is responsibile for the killing of civilians. It however stated that government’s troops burned down houses and abducted women.

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