Canada Condemns Atrocities in South Sudan

April 24, 2014 - The Honourable Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights, today issued the following statement:

“Canada deplores the atrocious targeted attacks against civilians committed in Bentiu, South Sudan, by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition. Early reports indicate that hundreds of people, including women and children, were killed. Of these, approximately 200 civilians were encouraged to shelter in a mosque by Opposition forces and then deliberately targeted and killed.

“Canada condemns the perpetrators of these terrible attacks and calls on the leaders of the Opposition forces to undertake an immediate and thorough investigation, to hold the perpetrators accountable and to ensure that their troops never again commit ethnicity-based atrocities. It appears that individuals associated with the Opposition used radio broadcasts to encourage targeted ethnic killings and the rape of civilians, tactics that are similar to those used 20 years ago in Rwanda, a sign that these crimes are increasingly driven by hate. Canada encourages South Sudan to facilitate the work of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan and looks forward to its report on human rights abuses.

“The events of the past week in South Sudan demonstrate the crucial importance of the mediation efforts led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. Canada encourages the parties to respect the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and return to the negotiating table.”

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATDCanada
Like us on Facebook: Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada-DFATD