[Juba, South Sudan, TCT] The UN mission in South Sudan has once again urged armed combatants in South Sudan to desist from actions and statements that might fuel conflict which has claimed some lives in recent weeks.
In a statement to the media, the mission condemned acts of violence and attacks against non-combatant civilians, and reiterated its call for an immediate and complete cessation of hostilities. There have been unconfirmed reports of revenge killings by people whose family members have been victims of targeted killings in Central and Eastern Equatoria states.
“UNMISS condemns in the strongest possible terms, any calls for a return to the violence that has plagued this country, and urges all parties to cease the rhetoric of incitement, which is not the answer to South Sudan’s problems,” it said through its Public Information Officer.
It warned those perpetrating violence against unarmed civilians that such attacks may constitute serious human rights violations, including crimes against humanity and war crimes, which are punishable by international law.
“We encourage all parties to put the people of South Sudan first, and work to bring an end to suffering of the people of this country,” the mission said.
This statement comes in the wake of reports of an upsurge in fighting in the country that has left soldiers and civilians wounded. It condemned the recent attack on a civilian convoy of vehicles that led to the death of more than 20 people on the Juba-Yei road, with reports indicating that five more civilians might have died in retaliatory attacks.
In a related development, a group of South Sudanese in the Diaspora has called for an end to violence and urged South Sudanese to remain united as people of one nation.
“We believe that only peace and unity will bring us back together because all human lives matter. So to target someone because of their ethnicity was not a part of why we voted for separation from Sudan,” said Joseph M. Nyieth on behalf of Jieng Youth Union Worldwide.
In a statement from the USA, the union said the government must protect all innocent civilians from all tribes and that all those who perpetrate violence must be brought to book and held responsible for their actions.
“We are all brothers and sisters. Our country and our tribe is South Sudan. We must all stop these behaviours and come to our senses by believing in the idea that we are all equal,” he said.
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