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The East African : Dec 22nd 2014
16 The EastAfrican NEWS DECEMBER 20-26,2014 UN: South Sudan ≥ebels killed 11 Nue≥ By KEVIN J KELLEY Special correspondent SOUTH SUDAN opposition forces killed at least 11 Nuer civilians during an attack on Bentiu in Unity State in October, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (Unmiss) reported on Friday. Members of the Nuer-dom- inated Sudan People’s Liberation Army In Opposition perceived their victims to be supporters of the Juba-based government, Unmiss said. The alleged perpetrators “reportedly referred to Nuer victims as Dinka, apparently to denote their perceived support for the government,” states the report, which is based on Unmiss human rights officers’ interviews with 21 victims, witnesses; and government and opposi- tion sources. Many of the killings of ci- vilians during the year-long South Sudan conflict have been carried out on the basis of ethnicity, but the abuses described in the report on the Bentiu attacks “demonstrate that the animosity has reached deeper into communities, with a growing expectation that everyone must choose sides,” Unmiss observes. It notes that the Nuer, who make up most of the population of Unity State, are divided among themselves by the hostilities. “Alliances and affiliations of various Nuer groups are complex and based on multiple factors, including deep-rooted interclan differences dating from far before December 2013,” Unmiss said. GENOCIDE RPF Spokesperson Brig-Gen Joseph Nzabamwita . Picture: File Gen Kazura not guilty: Rwanda Govt, UN say no evidence of alleged at≥ocities has been tabled By KEVIN J KELLEY Special Correspondent Peacekeeping Department are disputing claims that a Rwandan general carried out atrocities during the 1994 genocide in his country. The allegations against T Gen Jean-Bosco Kazura, who recently served as commander of the UN mission in Mali, had been acknowledged in a December 14 statement by the UN peacekeeping unit, which said it is “fully aware of the gravity of the accusations.” A December 13 report by a US-based journal highlighted allegations that Gen Kazura co-commanded a force of Tutsi soldiers who massacred thousands of unarmed Hutu civilians soon after the start of the anti-Tutsi genocide in April 1994. Foreign Policy Journal, a web-based publication, says the claims are based on interviews with more than a dozen Rwandans who served as officers or soldiers in the national army. A former official of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is also cited as a source of the accusations. None of those charging human-rights violations by Gen Kazura are named in the Foreign Policy Journal story. The allegations against Gen Kazura are “a blatant lie,” said Brig Gen Joseph Nzabamwita, a spokesman for the Rwandan army. “This is some sort of enemy propaganda.” Brig-Gen Nzabamwita he Rwanda government and the head of the UN noted that Gen Kazura had “successfully completed” an 18-month-long appointment as head of the UN peacekeeping force in Mali, known as Minusma. “As the Rwanda Defence Forces, we are proud of the job he did in Mali. Gen Kazura is headed to New York for official recognition and the final ceremony to see him off. The rest are just false allegations. The UN is aware of Gen Kazura’s good record and experience. It is not the first time he has served on a UN mission. He was in Sudan under Unamid,” Brig-Gen Nzabamwita said. Herve Ladsous, head of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, agrees that Gen Kazura performed commendably as Minusma commander. Mr Ladsous also questions the allegations against the Rwandan military leader. “Gen Kazura did an excel- lent job,” Mr Ladsous said in an interview with Radio France International. “Some of the allegations, I think, have not been demonstrated. Neither the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights nor the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda could bring us conclusive evidence.” The Peacekeeping Depart- ment spokesman did not respond to a follow-up query by The EastAfrican as to why the UN had chosen to acknowledge on December 14 allegations against Gen Kazura that were first reported by Foreign Policy Journal a year ago.
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