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Jonglei peace undermined by Yauyau’s rebellion - UN

September 24,2012 (BOR) - United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General to South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, visited Jonglei State on Monday to see the attempts made by the state government to reduce the violence and to increase stability.

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UN SRSG, Hilde Johnson (L) and Jonglei Governor, Kuol Manyang Juuk, in Bor September, 24, 2012 (ST)

After her meeting with the state government officials, Johnson said the peace and harmony in the state was being undermined by David Yau Yau’s rebel forces in Pibor county, especially in Lekuangole and surrounding areas.

"We are worried this current peace can be undermined by the current volatile situation in Lekuangole", she said.

UN is watching the situation closely and preparations are underway for the UN to deploy extra forces into potential trouble spots, side according to Johnson. Some UN troops are now in Lekuangole to offer protection to the civilians.

However, the head of the UN mission added that "UNMISS has no mandate to engaged with David Yau Yau’s forces". Johnson described the situation as "too dangerous and too uncertain" in Lekuangole Payam, making it difficult for the UN Mission in South Sudan to provide in humanitarian assistance in the area.

The state governor, Kuol Manyang Juuk said the rebel attacked and looted the Gumuruk market on Sunday, September 23 after a fight between them and small unit of South Sudan’s army (SPLA) in the area. Gumuruk is one of the Pibor Payams bordering Bor County.

According to Manyang, two rebels were killed in the fight, without giving further details.

The Governor alleged that planes, suspected to be from Sudan, landed with logistical support for the rebels on September 22. Juba claims that the rebellion is backed by Khartoum, an allegation denied by the Sudanese government.

The are fears that the militia may cause more problems in other counties if it is not controlled by the South Sudan army.

DISARMAMENT

In December 2011 around 6,000-8,000 armed youth primarily from the Luo Nuer ethnic group were mobilized militarily to launched a series of systematic attacks on the Murle tribe of Pibor County over a 12 day period crossing into January 2012.

Over 1,000 people were killed in violence between the groups in 2011 and nearly 900 more in the New Year attacks, which began on 27 December and ended - after a series of reprisal attacks from Murle armed groups - around 4 February.

Abductions of women and children, the destruction of homes and the displacement of thousands of civilians are common dynamics of the conflict a report, compiled by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) with support from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) found in June 2012.

Over 140,000 people as they were forced to flee their homes and/or need humanitarian assistance. The unrest led to South Sudan President Salva Kiir ordering a state-wide disarmament process deploying around 15,000 soldiers and police to the area.

Later in 2012 the six tribes of the state signed an agreement in the Jonglei capital Bor in an attempt to end the cycle of ethnic violence in the area. However, some groups including those loyal to David Yau Yau have avoided the campaign.

(ST)