UN concerned by inter-ethnic violence, political infighting in South Sudan
The United Nations said on Tuesday that it is deeply worried by the wave of violence and brutal fighting between rival factions in South Sudan, that killed at least 440 civilians in the southwestern region of the country over just a few months last year.
The report comes on the heels of a warning by the United Nations last month that the world's youngest country risked a return to war, with bouts of interethnic violence and political infighting threatening to undo even the limited progress made in implementing a stuttering peace process.
"Grave human rights violations and abuses, including hundreds of killings, were committed against civilians during fighting in Tambura County, Western Equatoria State," according to the joint report issued Tuesday by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the UN Human Rights Office.
It blamed members of the armed forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rivals in the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) of Vice President Riek Machar, and "their respective affiliated militias" for the violence.
Between June and September last year, at least 440 civilians were killed in fighting between rival groups in Tambura county, 18 injured and 74 abducted, the report found. In addition, some 80,000 were forced to flee their homes to escape the fighting, it said.