UN to investigate peacekeepers’ response to South Sudan hotel attack

UNITED NATIONS (TIP): United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched an investigation on August 16 into accusations peacekeepers in South Sudan failed to respond properly to an attack on a Juba hotel by uniformed men who killed a journalist and raped several civilians.

Ban was “alarmed” by the initial findings of a UN fact-finding mission into the attack on the Hotel Terrain on July 11 during an outbreak of fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and those backing former Vice President Riek Machar. The secretary-general was “concerned about allegations that UNMISS (the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan) did not respond appropriately to prevent this and other grave cases of sexual violence committed in Juba,” Ban’s spokesperson said.

Ban has launched an independent special investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding the incidents and evaluate the overall response by the UN peacekeeping mission, the spokesperson said in a statement. US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said on Monday, “We are deeply concerned that United Nations peacekeepers were apparently either incapable of or unwilling to respond to calls for help.” (Reuters)

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