UN wants end to South Sudan inter-communal clashes, aid worker attacks


Peacekeepers were despatched to the northern Lakes region in South Sudan in a bid to deter further violence between communities , the UN Mission in the country, UNMISS, said.

Seventy-five Nepalese blue helmets have been temporarily deployed from Rumbek to Maper following reports of up to 79 people killed and more than 100 injured in communal clashes and revenge attacks between Gak and Manuer communities.

UNMISS noted political violence has largely subsided in South Sudan a revitalised peace agreement was signed in September 2018. Inter-communal clashes continue resulting in deaths and injuries to civilians, cattle theft and the looting.

“The fighting must stop. We urge the communities involved and their leaders to end the violence and come together in reconciliation and peace for the good of their people”, said David Shearer, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS.

Peacekeepers will patrol the area in the coming weeks providing a protective presence.

They were flown into Maper by helicopter as the main route was impassable due to heavy rains. UNMISS is also flying in heavy equipment, including vehicles, enabling travel between remote communities.

The mission force commander and head of its Rumbek field office, together with human right and civil affairs officers, are in Maper to assess the security situation.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR, called for greater protection of aid workers in South Sudan following a “senseless” attack against an international relief agency over the weekend.

Armed men broke into the NGO’s compound in Buni, Upper Nile, on Sunday, assaulted and robbed staff.

“UNHCR strongly condemns this senseless act against aid workers there to improve the lives of refugees and vulnerable South Sudanese”, spokesperson Babar Baloch told journalists in Geneva.

Attacks on aid workers in South Sudan increased in recent months, with the latest incident a month after the killing of three UN staff in the Central Equatoria region.