August 23, 2013 (JUBA) - The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday strongly condemned attacks on civilians in South Sudan’s Jonglei state, calling on government to expedite safe humanitarian access to the people cut off from aid.
- UNMISS medical team treat the wounded (UN photo)
An estimated 100,000 civilians, according to the UN, have been cut off from life-saving assistance as a result of fighting between state and non-state armed actors, and the recent resurgence of inter-communal clashes in the country’s largest region.
In a statement issued Friday, the UNSC “called on all parties, including armed militias, to exercise restraint, refrain from any acts of violence against civilians”.
It further urged all parties involved to “fully respect their obligations under applicable international law, including human rights law and international humanitarian law.”
Members of the Security Council further called on Juba to expedite safe and unhindered humanitarian access for the timely and full delivery of aid to all civilians in urgent need of assistance in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, including international humanitarian law and the UN guiding principles of humanitarian assistance.
The Council also urged the government to provide full freedom of movement and unhindered access for the UN peacekeeping mission in the country (UNMISS) to all parts of the State.
Meanwhile the UN mission in the young nation said Friday it had intensified its patrols in Jonglei’s Pibor and Gumuruk towns, and launched sustained patrols in areas outside both areas to help create a secure environment which allows civilians to safely return and access ongoing food distribution.
Members of the UNSC stressed the need to address the underlying causes of inter-communal violence in South Sudan and urged all parties to seek peace through reconciliation.
This year, the UN estimates that violence could displace over 200,000 people in South Sudan.