South Sudan: UN Rights Commissioner, Genocide Advisor to Visit

Juba — Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will visit Juba, the South Sudan capital on Saturday, her office announced Friday.

Pillay will be accompanied on the joint mission by Adama Dieng, the special advisor on prevention of genocide. Their visit comes in the wake of the recent killings, which took place in South Sudan's Unity and Jonglei state capitals.

The mission is reportedly at the request of the Secretary-General and in the light of this week's discussion on the world's youngest nation in the UN Security Council (UNSC). Not much is, however, known about the duration of the mission.

Members of the Security Council reportedly expressed horror and anger at the mass violence in Bentiu, vowing additional measures, should attacks on civilians continue.

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said on Monday that more than 200 people died in Bentiu after the strategic town fell to opposition forces last week.

UNMISS, in a statement, said it "strongly condemns the targeted killings of civilians based on their ethnic origins and nationality in Bentiu."

"More than 200 civilians were reportedly killed and over 400 wounded at the Mosque," the world body said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

"UNMISS also strongly condemns the use of Radio Bentiu FM by some individuals associated with the opposition to broadcast hate speech," it added.

Fighting erupted in mid-December between soldiers aligned with former vice president Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir with the president accusing his ex-deputy of staging a coup, which Machar denied but now leads a rebel movement.

The fighting is often seen as pinning President Kiir's Dinka tribe against Machar's Nuer, although both politicians have supporters across irrespective of tribal affiliation.

Both sides have been accused by Human Rights Watch of committing atrocities.

(ST).

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