The Slatest

U.N. Says South Sudan Is So Dangerous its Citizens Are Fleeing to Darfur

U.N. secretary general Ban Ki-moon with South Sudanese child earlier this week.

Photo by SAMIR BOL/AFP/Getty Images

The nation of South Sudan was created in 2011, its existence the result of a referendum and peace process that helped end more than two decades of violent conflict between Sudan’s Muslim north and its largely non-Muslim south. (The north-south conflict is not specifically related to the Darfur genocide; Darfur, which is predominately Muslim, is in Sudan’s west and still remains a part of the Sudanese state.)

But now South Sudan is itself beset by war along political and ethnic lines, with atrocities on both sides documented this week by the United Nations. Form the New York Times:


On Thursday, United Nations investigators issued a report describing horrors committed “on a massive scale” by both sides in the civil war in South Sudan. Security forces went from house to house killing men belonging to certain ethnic groups, it said. Civilians have been killed seeking shelter at United Nations bases. Combatants from both sides have raped and assaulted women.

In the first major accounting of the violence in South Sudan, the United Nations documents crimes against humanity, including arbitrary killings and attacks on churches, hospitals and international aid facilities.

“Civilians were not only caught up in the violence, they were directly targeted, often along ethnic lines,” the report states.

The situation is so dire that one United Nations official quoted says that some residents are fleeing to Darfur (which is itself still brutally unstable). Outside groups including the U.N. and the U.S. state department are attempting to broker a temporary peace.