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‘Very real risk’ of South Sudan atrocities, UN secretary general warns

Ban Ki-moon claims UN peacekeepers currently deployed in South Sudan would not be capable of preventing mass killings.


UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has warned of a “very real risk of mass atrocities” in South Sudan and that peacekeepers deployed in the war-torn country will not be able to stop such a bloodbath.

Ban told the security council in a report released on Wednesday that the United Nations must clearly define what actions it is prepared to take in the event of mass killings.

“There is a very real risk of mass atrocities being committed in South Sudan, particularly following the sharp rise in hate speech and ethnic incitement in recent weeks,” Ban said.


South Sudan is a landlocked country in East-Central Africa that gained its independence from Sudan in 2011. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city. It is planned that the capital city will be changed to the more centrally located Ramciel in the future. South Sudan is bordered by Sudan to the north, Ethiopia to the east, Kenya to the southeast, Uganda to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the southwest, and the Central African Republic to the west. It includes the vast swamp region of the Sudd, formed by the White Nile and known locally as the Bahr al Jabal.

The territories of modern South Sudan and the Republic of the Sudan were occupied by Egypt under the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, and later governed as an Anglo-Egyptian condominium until Sudanese independence was achieved in 1956. Following the First Sudanese Civil War, the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region was formed in 1972 and lasted until 1983. A second Sudanese civil war soon developed and ended with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005. Later that year, southern autonomy was restored when an Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan was formed.

South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011, following a referendum that passed with 98.83% of the vote. It is a United Nations member state, a member state of the African Union, of the East African Community, and of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. In July 2012, South Sudan signed the Geneva Conventions. South Sudan has suffered internal conflict since its independence; as of 2016 it has the second highest score on the Fragile States Index (formerly the Failed States Index)