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South Sudan: UN blames rebels for massacre of hundreds of civilians

South Sudan: UN blames rebels for massacre of hundreds of civilians
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The UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan says rebels have killed hundreds of civilians, hunting down men, women and children as they took refuge in a hospital, mosque and church in the oil hub, Bentiu.

Speaking to reporters in New York, UN Spokesman Stéphane 
Dujarric said: “The Mission strongly condemns these targeted killings. 
It also condemns the use of Radio Bentiu FM by some individuals 
associated with the opposition to broadcast hate speech.

“Between April 15-17, the Mission extracted hundreds of civilians who were facing threats of violence in several places in Bentiu and Rubkona where they had taken refuge.”

Rebels loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar took control of the oil hub last week but deny the massacre.

Thousands of people have been killed and over a million displaced since fighting erupted in Africa’s newest state last December, triggered by a power struggle between Machar and the president who sacked him, Salva Kiir.

The fighting has exacerbated ethnic tensions between Kiir’s Dinka people and Machar’s Nuer.

In January, the warring parties agreed to a cessation of hostilities but fighting has continued in parts of South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in 2011 under an agreement to end decades of war.