South Sudanese government accused of killing civilians

Jan. 28, 2014 at 8:12 AM
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MALAKAL, South Sudan, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Rebel forces accused South Sudanese troops of indiscriminately killing citizens in Malakal, the Upper Nile state capital.

James Gatdet Dak, former Vice President Riek Machar's spokesman, said Monday soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir and their allied rebels from Sudan allegedly targeted civilians perceived to support Machar.

"We have been receiving disturbing reports from Malakal that the pro-Kiir forces have resorted to mass murder of civilians in Malakal. This is similar to the criminal episode Kiir's so-called presidential guards carried out in the capital Juba when thousands of Nuer civilians were targeted, killed in cold blood," Dak said.

"There has been door-to-door search of Nuer, Shilluk and Dinka Bor by these forces, majority of which come from the rebels of Southern Blue Nile across the border from the neighboring Sudan. They indiscriminately drag out civilians from their houses and shoot them point blank, some church pastors were killed too," he added.

The alleged killings come two days after government troops allegedly broke a temporarily cease-fire agreement the two sides agreed to, the Sudan Tribune reported Tuesday.

Clashes between government forces and rebel groups broke out Dec. 15 after Machar allegedly attempted to stage a coup. Machar, who was pushed out of office when Kiir reshuffled his Cabinet in July, denied attempting a coup.

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