UN: Tens of thousands dead in S Sudan war

Security Council says feuding leaders "personal ambitions" fomented crisis, as nation marks one year since start of war.

    UN: Tens of thousands dead in S Sudan war
    Fighting has displaced more than 1.9 million people [Reuters]

    Tens of thousands of people have died in South Sudan during one year of war and the country's leaders are putting their "personal ambitions" ahead of the young nation's future, the UN secretary-general has said.

    Ban Ki-moon called on the country's leaders to agree to an inclusive power-sharing arrangement that would address the root causes of the conflict and ensure accountability for any crimes committed on the battlefield.

    There is no official death toll for the conflict, but Ban said "tens of thousands" of South Sudanese have died.

    The UN Security Council blamed South Sudan's "man-made political, security and humanitarian catastrophe" on its feuding leaders on Monday, as the world body threatened targeted sanctions against those impeding the peace process.

    UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, said that civilians faced a "dreadful" situation and were victims of targeted killings and looting.

    "The people of South Sudan are living in a tinderbox, with emotions high, an abundant flow of weapons and with both sides recruiting fighters, often forcefully and including children," Hussein said.

    South Sudan: Peace talks or petty squabbles?

    War broke out in the world's newest nation a year ago on Monday, when President Salva Kiir accused his deputy Riek Machar of trying to organise a coup.

    More than 1.9 million people were displaced by the fighting, the UN says, with sectarian battles pitting militias loyal to Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, against those who support Machar, an ethnic Nuer.

    The two sides have signed several peace deals brokered by neighboring governments, but none has succeeded in stopping the fighting in the oil-rich country.

    In recent days, government troops and armed youths have been battling in Upper Nile state, a sign that widespread violence could return now that the six-month rainy season has ended.

    Rights groups say the country is locked in conflict, with the bloodshed that erupted in Juba a year ago having set off a cycle of retaliatory massacres across large swathes of the country.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.