UNMISS boss expresses deep concerns over ongoing violence in Pibor
The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of United Nations Mission in South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom, has expressed deep concern over the fresh escalation of violence in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.
JUBA – The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of United Nations Mission in South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom, has expressed deep concern over the fresh escalation of violence in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.
“We all share a deep concern over the violence between community-based militias that has escalated in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area,” Haysom said at Thursday press conference in Juba, while calling on the government of South Sudan to take concrete steps to address the root causes of the conflict in the region.
The recent conflict in the Pibor area has claimed the lives of 155 people and displaced thousands amid the destruction and burning of properties and homes.
Inter-communal violence has been a common phenomenon in the region with armed groups from Murle, Dinka Bor, and Lou Nuer usually picking up arms to fight each other.
The UN Envoy revealed that the Mission is working closely with local authorities and communities in Jonglei to promote reconciliation and secure the release of abducted women and children.
“At least one of the root causes would be reconciliation between the communities and agreed arrangements by which they can live together, and a concerted attempt to break the pattern,” he said on Thursday.
“One of the conditions for an end to, not only that conflict but also conflict around the country is to facilitate people’s proper engagement with commercial activity, economic activity, agricultural activity, so that they can boost production, but much more important that they can earn livelihoods,” he added.
He stressed the need to end the cycle of violence whereby one raid leads to a counter-raid and communities ended up permanently engaging in conflict with each other.
“In the long term, that is the future for South Sudan, that people will all have access to livelihoods. The problem is we cannot get there without peace. There is sometimes a chicken-and-egg situation,” he disclosed.
“The issue now is to prevent the recurrence of that cycle of violence as people contemplate revenge and so on. I’m not a one-man commission of inquiry into who is to blame. The task before us is to stop it before it repeats itself,” he added.
A human rights report issued by UNMISS, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights found that, during January and August 2020, thousands of fighters from Dinka, Nuer, and Murle militias conducted coordinated attacks on villages, killing and wounding hundreds of civilians. Women and children were also abducted, and dozens of women were raped.
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