UN chief voices concern over south Sudan killings



UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday expressed deep concern over a string of killings in south Sudan that have claimed dozens of lives, his spokeswoman said.
Ban "is deeply concerned over the string of attacks and counterattacks in south Sudan and the killing and displacement of innocent civilians," Michele Montas said in a statement.
"The Secretary-General calls on all groups to find peaceful means of settling their differences," she said.



UN chief voices concern over south Sudan killings
"He also calls on the government of South Sudan to re-double its efforts to ensure the protection of civilians" and to work with UN bodies toward "resolving the root causes of the tensions and addressing the humanitarian situation."
A military spokesman said Saturday that 25 people were killed and several more wounded in clashes in the tense oil-rich Upper Nile region of south Sudan.
Heavily armed fighters attacked an ethnic Dinka settlement in Bony-Thiang, north of the state capital Malakal, early on Friday, said Major General Kuol Diem Kuol, of the southern Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).
Clashes between rival ethnic groups in south Sudan erupt frequently -- often sparked by cattle rustling and disputes over natural resources, while others are retaliation for previous attacks.
More than 2,000 people have died and 250,000 been displaced in inter-tribal violence across southern Sudan since January, according to the United Nations, which says the rate of violent deaths now surpasses that in the war-torn western region of Darfur.
Under the deal that ended Africa's longest civil war, the south has a six-year transitional period of regional autonomy and takes part in a unity government until a 2011 referendum on self-determination.
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Monday, September 7th 2009
AFP
           


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