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UN condemns attack on peacekeeping convoy in S. Sudan

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September 15, 2018 (JUBA) – The United Nations has condemned an attack in which a Nepalese peacekeeper with its mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was shot and wounded by a South Sudan army (SPLA) soldier while travelling in a convoy in the town of Yei on Saturday.

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A Nepalese UNAMID peacekeeper

The convoy, the UNMISS said in a statement, was traveling from the UN base in Yei to collect water at about 8.30am, adding "An SPLA soldier started shooting in the air near the UNMISS convoy of four vehicles, which included two water tankers.

The soldier reportedly then shot directly at one of the vehicles, hitting the Nepalese peacekeeper in the leg, and ran off into a crowd.

The troops were unable to return fire as they did not want to risk injuring civilians.

The peacekeeper was evacuated to the UN base before being airlifted to Juba for further medical treatment.

“This direct attack on UN peacekeepers here to help the people of South Sudan is unacceptable. The perpetrator must be found and held accountable by Government authorities,” said the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS, David Shearer.

“This situation is evidence of a lack of command and control of armed forces which has resulted in unruly elements who continue to commit human rights abuses in the area. It is beholden on the Government to bring their forces under control,” said David Shearer.

This morning’s attack follows reports of fresh clashes between government and opposition forces in the area surrounding Kajo-Keji in Central Equatoria.

The Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) has confirmed that it is investigating alleged violations of the ceasefire agreement in the Yei area.

Prior to the wounding of the peacekeeper today, Government soldiers had fired approximately 50 shots about 500 meters from the UN base in Yei at 5.20am.

“The signing of the revitalized peace agreement by all parties to the conflict three days ago heralded a time of optimism for the future. It is disheartening that, despite the new agreement, fighting is continuing in the Central Equatorian region,” said David Shearer.

“All forces must disengage as required by the peace agreement and end the violence. The parties must also work together to build trust between themselves and with the people of South Sudan who are suffering immensely from the ongoing conflict," he stressed.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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