S. Sudan slams genocide remarks by British official

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The South Sudanese government on Friday denied that there is genocide taking place in the country.

The denial followed remarks by the Britain Secretary for International Development Priti Patel, who said Wednesday that tribal genocide is taking place in the war-torn country.

President Salva Kiir’s spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny told Xinhua that the government can not commit genocide against its people and called those talking of genocide as liars.

“I can only feel sorry for her (Patel), the government can not commit, implement genocide against South Sudanese. The state apparatus can not be used against a particular tribe,” he said.

“South Sudanese can never commit genocide. There is no genocide and it will never be there,” Ateny added.

The government troops (SPLA) have been accused of targeting civilians in the restive Yei town southwest of the capital, and last year the UN Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng said genocide was likely to occur after visiting the border town.

Ateny also dismissed claims by the British official that African countries needed to intervene to calm the South Sudan violence rather than wait for the international community.

“It is another misconception, the South Sudan case has already been handled by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and there is no need for another option,” Ateny said.

The war-torn country recently accepted to the deployment of the much-awaited African peacekeeping protection force that will help to separate the warring factions and protect civilians.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013, as political disputes between President Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar caused fighting to spread along ethnic lines between Kiir’s Dinka ethnic group and Machar’s Nuer.

The fighting has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced more than 2 million from their homes.

Both the SPLA and militia groups fighting in Yei, Kajokeji areas of Equatoria region, have been accused of carrying out ethnic targeted killings on civilians, hence forcing thousands to flee violence.

©Xinhua

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