Protection Cluster (2014) Trends Analysis, January 2014
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The current conflict has now reached one month, with all of South Sudan having experienced the effects of violence and displacement, including the reports of deaths of 10,000 civilians. Within the overall context of violence, there have been reported patterns and trends that point to concerns on the involvement of armed forces in targeting of civilians [in all cases ‘armed actors’ is used to mean both state and non-state armed actors]. Armed actors have been clearly identified by civilian populations as targeting, arresting and killing civilians. IDPs interviewed believe that armed civilians wearing military uniforms are among the perpetrators. There is a belief that police carried out the searching and targeting, and then handed victims over to the military for “execution.” There have been consistent reports of civilians (primarily men) being detained, bound and executed. Teams have observed bodies with clear and sometimes deep lacerations on the wrist that are typically present on persons whose hands have been bound for long duration of time. Profiling of populations by armed groups – identifying ethnicity trough language test or recognition of typical scarification patterns - and killing of populations based on ethnicity has been raised as a way in which people are identified. There has been destruction of civilian property, including homes and markets.