South Su­dan pres­i­dent de­mands im­me­di­ate end to atroc­i­ties

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By AARON MAASHO and CARL ODERA in Juba Reuters

South Su­danese Pres­i­dent Salva Kiir has called for an end to wan­ton killings and trib­al­based atroc­i­ties.

His ap­peal on Wed­nes­day came as gov­ern­ment troops clashed with rebels loyal to his for­mer deputy in an oil-pro­duc­ing re­gion of the coun­try.

Western pow­ers fear the vi­o­lence could get out of con­trol and lead to a civil war split along eth­nic lines in the world’s new­est state. On Tues­day, the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil agreed to al­most dou­ble the num­ber of peace­keep­ers there.

“In­no­cent peo­ple have been wan­tonly killed. Peo­ple are tar­get­ing oth­ers be­cause of their tribal af­fil­i­a­tion. This is un­ac­cept­able,” Kiir said, ac­cord­ing to a gov­ern­ment Twit­ter ac­count.

The atroc­i­ties have to cease im­me­di­ately, Kiir said.

The vi­o­lence erupted in the cap­i­tal Juba on Dec 15 and has spread quickly, di­vid­ing the land­locked coun­try of 10.8 mil­lion along Nuer and Dinka eth­nic lines.

Western pow­ers and East African states, keen to pre­vent more chaos in a frag­ile re­gion, have tried to me­di­ate be­tween Kiir, a Dinka, and rebel leader Riek Machar, a Nuer, who was vice-pres­i­dent un­til Kiir fired him in July.

Euro­pean Union for­eign pol­icy chief Cather­ine Ash­ton is send­ing an en­voy to the coun­try, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion said on Wed­nes­day.

Ethiopian Prime Min­is­ter Haile­mariam De­salegn and Kenyan Pres­i­dent Uhuru Kenyatta would ar­rive in Juba on Thurs­day to help me­di­ate.

De­spite African Union calls for a Christ­mas Day cease-fire, rebels and gov­ern­ment troops clashed on Wed­nes­day in Malakal, cap­i­tal of the ma­jor oil state of Up­per Nile. On Tues­day, a UN hu­man rights group found a grave con­tain­ing 75

JAMES AKENA / REUTERS

Sol­diers in South Su­dan travel the streets in the flash­point town of Bor, north­west of the cap­i­tal Juba, on Wed­nes­day. Army troops have re­taken Bor a week af­ter it fell to rebels.

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