UN Probes Killing of Civilians by South Sudan Forces

The United Nations is investigating the deaths of nine civilians during clashes between demonstrators and South Sudanese security forces.

The demonstrations took place in Wau, the capital of Western Bahr El Ghazal state, on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9, the UN Mission in South Sudan said today in an e-mailed statement. The army clashed with protesters opposed to plans to transfer the administrative headquarters from Wau to Baggari, according to a UN humanitarian bulletin released yesterday.

“The recent escalating tensions and the episodes of violence, as well as attacks on property, are of great concern,” the UN mission said. “UNMISS is investigating the use of force and other reports of violence in order to establish the facts behind these tragic events.”

The mission said it’s offering assistance to the government, which established a fact-finding committee on Dec. 11. Government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin did not answer phone calls today seeking comment.

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