Juba/Geneva, November 30, 2016 (SSNA) — The United States’ Envoy to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Keith Harper, said South Sudanese government troops are targeting civilians in Central Equatoria state and prepared to launch what he called “large-scale” attacks on rebel areas or border state.
Harper told the UN special session held in Geneva that the US has “credible information” that Juba-backed troops are targeting civilians and that his government is alarmed by the development.
“The United States is alarmed by recent reports about the situation in South Sudan. We have credible information that the South Sudanese government is currently targeting civilians in Central Equatoria and … preparing for large-scale attacks in the coming days and weeks,” Harper told the 47-member council.
The Ambassador disclosed that South Sudan’s government has ataged at 4,000 militia members in Equatoria region to begin conducting attacks.
On November 19, the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) reported that South Sudan’s government has deployed new military battalions in and around Juba. Resident told the SSNA that heavily armed militia-looking soldiers in military uniforms were moving in and around Juba threatening civilians and telling people to go inside their houses. A confidential government source later told the SSNA that Juba has new military graduates who are part of exiting forces to secure Juba and surround areas.
The United States proposed an arms embargo on South Sudan and targeted sanctions through UN Security Council but the move was blocked by Russia.