The Eritrean Embassy in South Sudan says it is giving priority to evacuating citizens from Benitu and Unity State amid reports of escalating violence and alarming discovery of mass graves.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that around 500 Eritreans taking refuge at a United Nation Peace Keeping compound in Bor along with thousands of displaced Sudanese.
The embassy also said it is closely following the situation in other areas of the country too and will do the same if deemed necessary.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, in a statement today said “we have discovered a mass grave in Bentiu, in Unity State, and there are reportedly at least two other mass graves in the capital Juba.”
However, the South Sudanese government blames the killings on rebels led by former Vice President Riek Machar.
“Bentiu is currently under the control of the rebel leader Riek Machar – we have nothing to do with that area and the mass killings.”
The government also said in a Twitter update, “Our troops are advancing on Bor in order to take it back from troops loyal to Machar. We will also soon advance on Bentiu.”
Hundreds of people have been killed in the fighting between Dinka loyalists of President Salva Kiir and Nuer supporters of former Vice President Riek Machar, who was sacked in July and is accused by the government of trying to seize power.
World and regional leaders worried the violence might retreat into ethnic tension that could ignite into civil war. The pressure to stop the infighting and bringing both factions into dialogue still continued.
Riek Machar today confirmed that he is ready for peace talks but only if President Kiir releases all the government officials that were arrested on the onset of the conflict.
President Salva Kiir, however, reiterates his readiness for a dialogue but said he won’t release anybody accused of a coup. He said they are criminals and will bring them to justice.
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