Home | News    Thursday 25 February 2016

S. Sudan’s ex-detainees slam clashes in Wau, Malakal

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February 24, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s former politicians have criticised the killing of dozens of civilians in armed clashes, which occurred in Wau and Malakal towns after violent confrontations involving the South Sudanese army (SPLA) soldiers.

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Former South Sudanese political detainees (from left to right) Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth, Majak d’Agoot, Pagan Amum and Oyai Deng Ajak at a trial hearing in Juba on 11 March 2014 (Photo: AFP/Andrei Pungovschi)

The ex-detainees are senior members of South Sudan’s ruling (SPLM), which split into three separate factions after internal discussions over reforms turned violence in 2013.

Comprising of former cabinet ministers, the former political detainees are one of the key stakeholders in the agreement of the resolution of conflict in the world’s youngest nation. The peace agreement was brokered by the East African regional bloc (IGAD).

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Deng Alor, the groups acting secretary general expressed heavy and broken heart concerns for the victims of recent violence in Malakal and Wau. Alor said his group deplored the incident and called on the government and the United Nations mission in the country to conclude investigations behind the cause.

“We deplore the continued killing of civilians even after signing of peace agreement to bring the violent conflict that erupted in our country in December 2013 to an end,” it said.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC), European Union (EU) and Troika countries (United States, United Kingdom and Norway) have condemned the recent killing of civilians inside a United Nations camp in Malakal which hosts over 47,000 of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

They accused government forces of taking part in the attacks on Shilluk and Nuer communities in the camp.

In a statement issued on Friday, the UN Security Council also accused members of the South Sudanese government’s forces for involving in the fighting which initially broke out between members of the Dinka and Shilluk ethnic groups inside the camp.

“The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the violence committed by elements of the Shilluk and Dinka communities, which erupted in the protection of civilians site in Malakal, South Sudan on February 17 and continued on February 18, resulting in over 18 deaths and 50 injured,” the statement stressed.

“The members of the Security Council were particularly alarmed by credible reports of armed men in SPLA uniforms entering the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) camp and firing on civilians, and the looting and burning of tents,” it added.

The statement called on South Sudan government to “swiftly investigate” the attack, and bring the perpetrators to justice, describing the incident as a possible war crime.

(ST)

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