SOUTH SUDAN: “Ethnic Cleansing” Reported

JONGLEI, June 14, 2013 (CISAnews) -Ethnic cleansing. This two words go from hand to hand in a report - classified as "confidential" - drawn up last month by some agencies of the United Nations (UN OCHA, UNHCR, WFP, FAO) in collaboration with other humanitarian organizations.

The document is said to contain very serious accusations; the population of the Murle, targeted by the southern Sudanese army (SPLA), has been the victim of "murder, rape, abduction, torture, houses burning, looting, killing livestock and destruction of arable fields". Everything, far away, too far away, from the reflectors of the international community

After several meetings with the representatives of the Murle who moved to the capital of south Sudan, Juba (in all, around 11 thousand people), the report describes the reasons for which the State of Jonglei is steadily emptying. The members of the Murle community -the study reports- are the victims of the cycle of violence that has hit Pibor and the border counties. The violence that the Murle have attributed to the Government of Southern Sudan (Goss), and identified it as "the main sender of the human rights violations in the area

Several women and girls have been kidnapped by the SPLA - while homes and sacks of food were destroyed or looted by the soldiers". There are over 150 thousand civilians who have left the Jonglei with the intensification of the campaign of the SPLA against the rebels that began at the beginning of the year.

"These operations by the SPLA suggest a real ethnic cleansing", commented under anonymity a humanitarian operator associated with the report, "Unfortunately, however, it is difficult to document with more precision the accusations because the area is still inaccessible".

The Jonglei, the largest of the ten States in Southern Sudan, sits over huge oil reserves not yet exploited due to two decades-long civil war with the North ended in 2005. The interests in the region are extremely delicate.

According to Matteo Fraschini Koffi, tensions with the Sudan, that accused the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, "to foment rebellions in Jonglei", are always very high. The Goss, in fact, is working for a long time for the export of its oil, no more toward the north, but through East Africa and the Horn of Africa, in particular Djibouti.


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Matteo Fraschini Koffi - Giornalista Freelance