Outrage over South Sudan rebel attack on UN compound

 

South Sudanese rebels defended their renewed offensive yesterday as condemnation grew of the massacre at the United Nations compound in Bor where women and children were attacked.

James Gadet Dak, spokesman for the rebel leadership, said militias had targeted oil-producing regions to stop the government of President Salva Kiir from using the revenue to engage Ugandan troops and Sudanese militias.

He insisted that the fighting was necessary to “put pressure on Salva Kiir”. If this did not force him to the negotiation table, he warned, then “we are coming to [South Sudan’s capital] Juba to depose him”.

Thousands have been killed in South Sudan since tribal fighting began in December between supporters of MR Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar. More than one million people have fled their homes.

However, the sudden collapse last week of the ceasefire signed on 23 January has renewed chaos and raised questions about the viability of the state.

The UN Security Council met to address the attack on the base in Bor, which left at least 48 dead after a mob rampaged through the site. It warned that the action could “constitute a war crime”. The US embassy in South Sudan’s capital released a joint declaration with the European Union condemning “these atrocities in the strongest terms”.

Rebel groups targeted Bentiu, capital of the oil-producing Unity state, in the renewed offensive. Once in control, they ordered all oil firms operating in South Sudan, including India’s ONGC Videsh and the China National Petroleum Corp, to leave.

Government spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said yesterday that fighting continued in the city as the army sought to regain control. However, poor communications made it difficult to establish the veracity of his claim.

The UN said it had been denied access to civilians, with rebel groups understood to be blocking the way.

“There has been direct targeted killing of people based on nothing else except their identity,” the local UN humanitarian co-ordinator, Toby Lanzer, said. “It is imperative that the United Nations and non-governmental organisations reinforce their ability in Bentiu.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital and print design a...

Recruitment Genius: Engineering Project Manager - Vehicle Design and Build

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Engineering Project Manager ...

Recruitment Genius: Network Support Engineer

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading manufacturer and i...

Recruitment Genius: Document Controller

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Document Controller is required to join a le...

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action