JUBA – The European Union (EU) has expressed concerns over the continued violence in Upper Nile States where factional fighting between rival opposition commanders Gen. Simon Gatwech Dual and General Johnson Olony Thabo resulted in the killing of dozens, and displacement of thousands of civilians.
The EU in a statement extended to Sudans Post also deplored this year’s killing and displacement of civilians by South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and main armed opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) in southern Unity State.
“The EU is gravely concerned about the continued violence in South Sudan, including the recent events in Upper Nile State and the continued killings of aid workers in the country,” the EU statement reads in part.
“The joint UNMISS/OHCHR report on attacks against civilians in southern Unity State sheds important light on the events that took place from February to May this year. It reports killings and systematic attacks on civilians, including horrible accounts of conflicted-related sexual violence and the use of rape as a weapon of war. According to the report, over 170 civilians were killed and 44,000 displaced,” the statement added.
The statement called on the authorities to carry out independent investigations and bring to account those behind the crimes against civilians.
“The report also clearly points out the parties that were responsible for the violence. There can be no impunity for these crimes,” the statement said.
“We call on the authorities to conduct independent and impartial investigations into all allegations of human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law in order to hold the perpetrators to account, and to bring justice to the victims,” it added.
It stressed that “Peace, security and stability are prerequisites for development. The EU and its Member States are significant contributors of humanitarian aid and development cooperation in South Sudan. However, this support can only be sustainable and successful in a violence-free environment.”