JUBA, South Sudan — An angry mob of South Sudanese youths attacked a U.N. base on Thursday to harm members of an ethnic minority sheltering inside. Peacekeepers were forced to open fire, amid rampaging violence that killed at least 12 people, officials there said.
The U.N. mission in South Sudan condemned the “unprovoked attack” and called for a full investigation into the “heinous murders.”
In a statement late Thursday, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said at least 20 civilians were killed and more than 70 injured in the “brazen, inhuman” attack.
The attackers forced their way into a camp in Bor in Jonglei state where some 5,000 ethnic Nuers have sought safety since fighting in South Sudan broke out in mid-December.
“The assailants, a mob of armed civilians, came to the base under the guise of peaceful demonstrators intending to present a petition ... The armed mob forced entry on to the site and opened fire on the internally displaced persons sheltering inside the base,” said U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric, at U.N. headquarters in New York.
Maj. Major Kuol Mayen Deng of South Sudan’s military said that Ugandan troops stationed in the region are now protecting the U.N. base. Deng said at least 12 people were killed. Two U.N. peacekeepers were injured, according to a U.N. statement.
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