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UN Urges South Sudan to Stop Killings by Security Forces

The United Nations urged South Sudan’s government to prevent its security forces from killing civilians and harassing journalists.

Hilde Johnson, the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan, called for “accountability for human-rights violations committed by the security forces.” She urged the government to release the results of an investigation into the Dec. 4 killing of 13 civilians in Jonglei state and prosecute those responsible for the Dec. 5 murder of journalist Isaiah Abraham, an outspoken critic of the government.

“UNMISS is deeply disturbed by reports of threats, intimidation, harassment and attacks against journalists, civil society and human-rights activists,” Johnson told reporters today in the capital, Juba.

Military intelligence detained and interrogated two UN human-rights officers last month while they were investigating threats against a local journalist, she said. South Sudan fell 13 places to 124 on the World Press Freedom Index, a survey of 179 countries compiled by Paris-based Reporters Without Borders, the advocacy organization said Jan. 30.

Government spokesman Barnaba Marial Benjamin didn’t answer calls seeking comment.

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