Rebel soldiers, in their fight against the government, are said to have killed hundreds of civilians in Bentiu last week. UN officials say there are "bodies strewn over roads and bushes in the state capital. A strong stench of decomposing remains filled the air, while vultures and dogs ate off limbs, scalps and abdomen flesh."
“During the past few days, Bentiu was the scene of severe targeted deliberate violence that struck individuals of certain identities,” said UN special representative Toby Lanzer. “What I’ve so far seen is really heart- wrenching.”
A statement from the White House yesterday read,
"These acts of violence are an abomination. They are a betrayal of the trust the South Sudanese people have put in their leaders. This is exactly the violence and suffering the South Sudanese people fought for decades to escape. Both President Kiir and Riek Machar must make clear that attacks on civilians are unacceptable, perpetrators of violence on both sides must be brought to justice, and the cycle of violence that has plagued South Sudan for too long must come to an end."
More civilians have been displaced and some are seeking shelter at UN compounds. As the conflict continues so does a growing humanitarian crisis. WFP is feeding over 700,000 people impacted by the war.
In a report released today WFP said, "Despite the heavy fighting that erupted in Bentiu (Upper Nile) on 15 April, WFP has been able to quickly provide a 15 day food ration to around 22,000 beneficiaries including wounded civilians."
WFP, which relies on voluntary donations, is short on funding to feed South Sudan. With conflict and food shortages there is fear of famine. The UN food agency has set up a donation page.