Killings in South Sudan have risen to a level of mass fatalities, and the United Nations’ human rights chief said on Tuesday that at least one mass grave was found. “Mass extrajudicial killings, the targeting of individuals on the basis of their ethnicity and arbitrary detentions have been documented in recent days,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. “We have discovered a mass grave in Bentiu, in Unity State, and there are reportedly at least two other mass graves” near Juba.
On Tuesday afternoon, the U.N. Security Council met to discuss the possibility of increasing the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan by nearly doubling the forces.
It appears that many of the victims in South Sudan have been from Dinka or Nuer backgrounds, and Pillay is urging political leaders to take action to protect the citizens against human rights violations. “There is a palpable fear among civilians of both Dinka and Nuer backgrounds that they will be killed on the basis of their ethnicity,” Pillay said.