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UN envoy condemns ‘horrific’ killings in South Sudan state

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SRSG David Shearer meets Akobo residents on 1 Nov 2017 (UNMISS Photo/Amanda Voisard)
November 29, 2017 (JUBA) - The head of the United Nations mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), David Shearer has condemned the “horrific” killing of some 45 civilians in the Jonglei region on Tuesday when a Murle ethnic group attacked a Dinka village.

“I utterly condemn these killings and the abduction of some 60 women and children which accompanied these attacks,” said Shearer.

The attack reportedly left at least 19 people wounded.

“I urge the leaders of both communities to reign in the youth, show restraint and to put an end to the cycle of revenge killings. It is crucial that the national and local authorities support the community leaders and work to bring the perpetrators of all attacks to account,” he added.

Since 2013, the Murle and Dinka communities in Jonglei, which is in the central part of the country, have been engaged in long-standing inter-ethnic violence that has operated outside the wider political conflict in South Sudan.

The latest attack on the villages of Duk Panyang and Duk Payuel came after the two rival communities signed a peace agreement end their continuous feud in May.

“The perpetrators of this violence have undermined the ongoing peace and reconciliation efforts that [UNMISS] has supported in Jonglei,” said Shearer.

“The engagement that UNMISS has had with both communities has shown that the vast majority of people want to end the destructive pattern of revenge attacks,” he added.

The dead, Shearer said, included humanitarian workers "selflessly" working for the people of Jonglei. Their deaths, he added are “pointless and utterly contemptible.”

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Alain Noudehou said it was outrageous that civilians and humanitarians providing help continue to be targeted.

"I call on all armed elements to respect civilians and aid workers, wherever they are in the country," Noudehou said in a statement.

"At a time when humanitarian needs have reached unprecedented levels, it is unacceptable that those who are trying to help are being attacked and killed," he added.

The latest attack, he said, brings to 92 the numbers of aid workers killed in South Sudan since the beginning of the December 2013. 25 were killed in 2017 alone.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 after political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy turned rebel chief Riek Machar led to an outbreak of a civil war, which has killed thousands and displaced millions.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 30 November 2017 15:16, by Don-Don Malith Rual

    "Bringing all the perpetrators into account" Who will do that?💂and the citizens in particular these cattle raiders have taken the law into their own hands 👐!
    If UNIMSS can take the initiative to provide maximum security prection, may this could work within your allocated budget.

    repondre message

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