UN condemns aerial bombardments in South Sudan’s Unity state

Two areas of Bentiu in South Sudan's Unity state were hit by aerial bombardments. Photo: UNMISS

23 April 2012 – United Nations senior officials today deplored the continued aerial bombardments in Bentiu town in South Sudan’s Unity state, and called on the country and its neighbour, Sudan, to take all measures to ensure the safety of civilians.

In a statement, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the Sudanese Government to cease all hostilities immediately, and reiterated that “there can be no military solution to the disputes between Sudan and South Sudan.”

Mr. Ban also called on Presidents Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and Salva Kiir of South Sudan to “stop the slide towards further confrontation” and return to dialogue as a matter of urgency.

According to early reports, the bombing started at 8:30 a.m. local time, hitting the Rubkona market and causing the death of at least one person, as well as injuring four others.

“These indiscriminate bombings resulting in the loss of civilian lives must stop,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the peacekeeping operation known as the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Hilde F. Johnson, in a statement.

“I remind the parties to the conflict of their obligation to abide by international human rights and humanitarian law, take all measures not to harm civilians, and guarantee the safety of international aid organizations and United Nations personnel and assets,” Ms. Johnson added.

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