25 December 2013
Secretary-General
SG/SM/15559
AFR/2781

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General Calls Ethnic Targeting of Civilians ‘Grave’ Human

 

Rights Violation in Message to South Sudan

 


Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s radio/video message to the people of South Sudan, recorded in New York today:


Hello.  This is Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.


I want to assure you that the United Nations stands with the people of South Sudan at this difficult time.  We know many of you are suffering from horrific attacks.  Families are fleeing their homes.  Many of you have lost loved ones and are grieving.  Innocent civilians are being targeted because of their ethnicity.  This is a grave violation of human rights.  South Sudan is under threat, but South Sudan is not alone.


I once again call on the country’s leaders to settle their differences peacefully, and I underscore their responsibility to protect civilians.  I have warned all responsible for crimes that they will be held accountable.


The United Nations stood with you in your struggle for independence.  I joined you in Juba in 2011 to celebrate the birth of your nation.  The United Nations has been your partner in coping with the many challenges you have faced as the world’s newest country.


We are strengthening the United Nations presence and will do our best to stop the violence and help you build a better future for all.


Thank you.


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For information media • not an official record