A large-scale violence has engulfed South Sudan’s Jonglei states where reports said thousands of armed youth prepares to attack a rival community.
Earlier this month of December, an outbreak of inter-ethnic violence earlier has left more than 40 people dead, most of them women, children and the elderly.
The United Nations today urged South Sudan to take all necessary measures to protect civilians in Jonglei state.
Voicing deep concern about the attacks, Hilde Johnson, the head of UNMISS and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for South Sudan, urged all ethnic communities to exercise restraint.
“I am deeply concerned to learn of reports of this imminent large-scale attack on civilians in Jonglei State. The Government must act now if we are to avert a major tragedy.” – Special Representative for the Secretary-General to South Sudan Hilde F. Johnson
Over the weekend, air patrols of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) identified thousands of armed Lou Nuer youth preparing to attack Murle communities near Likuangole in Jonglei state.
UN Photo/Tim McKulka
Ms. Johnson stressed that the primary responsibility for protecting civilians lies with the Government. She added that UNMISS has reinforced its peacekeepers in key areas of Jonglei and is conducting continuous patrols to deter potential violence.
“Time is now running out and the Government needs to redouble its efforts to prevent a tragedy and avert large-scale violence. All South Sudanese people must now put peace and stability in their new and independent country above any other concerns and interests.”
– Hilde F. Johnson
The UNMISS has also facilitated a reconciliation process between various communities for the past months. The Mission called on all communities in Jonglei State to put an end to the inter-communal violence and to immediately engage in a peace dialogue.