A South Sudanese official says a United Nations diplomat based in the country's northern Unity state will be expelled from the state in a retaliatory move following the publication of a human rights report last month that accused government forces of committing widespread attacks on civilians there.

The deputy governor of South Sudan's Unity State Mabek Lang Sunday told The Associated Press that the decision to expel Mary Cummins was made in a state cabinet meeting. Cummins is head of the U.N. mission in Unity state.

In May South Sudan expelled the U.N. humanitarian coordinator Toby Lanzer.

South Sudan, which on Thursday marked four years of independence, has been plagued by violence since December 2013 as government troops battle rebels led by a former deputy president.