United Nations Reports Discovery of Mass Graves in South Sudan

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 24 2013 5:24 PM

United Nations Beefs Up Peacekeeping Force in South Sudan

458868455
South Sudanese shelter at a makeshift IDP camp at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) compound in Juba on December 22, 2013 where people continue to flock as fears of a resumption of fighting in the capital fester.

Photo by TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images

Update, December 25, 7:30 p.m.: The United Nations mission in South Sudan has denied a report of mass graves in the region. The report was issued by the office of a U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights. Here's the AP with the details:

The U.N. mission in South Sudan said the erroneous report was an inflation of a "skirmish" in which 15 people were killed. UNMISS said it is still deeply concerned about extrajudicial killings and is investigating those reports.
Advertisement

Original story, December 24, 5:20 p.m.: The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to nearly double its peacekeeping troops in South Sudan, sending an additional 5,500 personnel.

As ethnic violence continues in the world’s newest country, many fear the outbreak of a civil war between the nation’s two largest ethnic groups, the Dinka and Nuer. The New York Times explains:

South Sudan was born in the summer of 2011 with great hope and optimism, cheered on by global powers like the United States that helped shepherd it into existence. The new nation was carved out of Sudan to end one of Africa’s longest and costliest civil wars.
But the rivalry between two of South Sudan’s political leaders, President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar, along with the divisions between their ethnic groups, threatens what little cohesion holds the state together.

The vote came just hours after U.N. investigators reported the discovery of mass graves in the rebel-held city of Bentiu, which contained 34 bodies, according to officials. The U.N. is investigating two other mass killings and is uncertain who is responsible for the deaths, reports the Associated Press.

While diplomats struggle to stabilize the situation, CNN reports continued territorial clashes between Sudanese and rebel forces in various cities throughout the nation. As many as 80,000 people have fled their homes due to the violence in recent weeks and months.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Sept. 30 2014 2:36 PM This Court Erred The Supreme Court has almost always sided with the wealthy, the privileged, and the powerful, a new book argues.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Lexicon Valley
Sept. 30 2014 1:23 PM What Can Linguistics Tell Us About Writing Better? An Interview with Steven Pinker.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 6:44 PM Ebola Was Already Here How the United States contains deadly hemorrhagic fevers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.