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Ban slams S Sudan peacekeeper attack

10 April 2013, 17:55

New York – The UN leader Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday that a war crimes investigation could be launched into an attack in South Sudan in which five Indian peacekeepers and seven other people were killed.

Ban and the UN Security Council condemned the attack and called on South Sudan's government to "swiftly" bring the perpetrators to justice.

The five Indian peacekeepers, two workers for the UN mission in the country and five civilian contractors were killed in the ambush at Gumuruk in South Sudan's troubled Jonglei state.

Nine people were injured and Ban said some are in "critical" condition. The UN originally said that some staff remained unaccounted for but a spokesperson told AFP that all had now been found.

Ban "recalls that the killing of peacekeepers is a war crime that falls under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court", said his spokesperson Martin Nesirky.

Ban was "appalled" by the attack, the spokesperson added.

While South Sudan is not a signatory to the international court, the involvement of peacekeepers could justify an investigation, experts said.

The South Sudan government has blamed followers of rebel leader David Yau Yau for the ambush. Government forces have been battling the rebels in Jonglei while the UN peacekeepers have been patrolling between the two sides.

Ban and the UN Security Council condemned the ambush "in the strongest terms" in separate statements and called on South Sudan's government to work with the UN mission in the country, UNMISS.



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