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South Sudan: Attacks against civilians must end

22-12-2013 News Release

Juba/Geneva (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is alarmed by the violence against civilians that have been reported in recent days in South Sudan. It calls on all parties to the conflict to comply with the rules of international humanitarian law and urges all those involved in the violence to respect fundamental humanitarian principles.

An internally displaced boy carries his belongings inside a United Nations Missions in South Sudan (UNMISS) compound in Juba, December 19, 2013. ©REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic.

"We are extremely concerned about reports of both targeted killings of civilians and ill-treatment”, said Melker Mabeck, head of ICRC’s delegation in Juba. "Civilians must be protected from attack. Respect must be shown for human life and for the dignity of all people".

The ICRC calls on the parties to the conflict in South Sudan to do their utmost to protect and spare civilians. Those taking part in the fighting must meet their obligations under international humanitarian law and take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian injuries and loss of life. Attacks directed against civilians and civilians infrastructure are prohibited. Indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks are likewise prohibited.

Despite the violence of the last few days, the ICRC and the South Sudan Red Cross Society are carrying on with their work, doing everything possible to care for the wounded on all sides. Two complete ICRC surgical teams have been deployed, one in Juba and the other in Malakal. A third complete team is being assembled and will be flown to South Sudan in the next few days, alongside several tonnes of medical supplies and equipment.

For further information, please contact:
Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 49 or +41 79 244 64 05