UN chief calls for special tribunal for South Sudan, saying crimes against humanity likely

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Associated Press

Posted on May 12, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Updated Monday, May 12 at 7:34 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for a special tribunal for South Sudan, saying there are "reasonable grounds" to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed since fighting began five months ago.

Speaking to the U.N. Security Council following a visit to South Sudan, the U.N. chief welcomed last Friday's cease-fire agreement and called for "30 days of tranquility" so crops can be planted and famine avoided.

But Ban warns: "If the conflict continues, half of South Sudan's 12 million people will either be displaced internally, refugees abroad, starving or dead by the year's end."

Fighting broke out in December between troops loyal to the president (Salva Kiir), an ethnic Dinka, and those loyal to his former vice president (Riek Machar), an ethnic Nuer. Since then, Ban says thousands have been killed and "atrocities have been committed by both sides." He says more than a million people have been displaced and nearly 5 million more need humanitarian assistance.

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