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UN human rights official urges to curb tribal violence in South Sudan

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March 21, 2020 (JUPA) - The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, urged South Sudanese authorities to curb intercommunal violence in central and eastern parts of the country and to bring the responsible to justice.

Michelle Bachelet UN HCHR Commissionner (Reuters photo)Hundreds have been killed during the fighting between the Dinka Bor, Lou Nuer and Murle communities in Jonglei, which began in mid-February. The tribal violence also displaced 8,000 people who sought protection in makeshift shelters near the UNMISS base in Pibor.

In a statement released on Friday, Bachelet said the formed of the national unity government raised hopes for durable peace in the country, adding that lasting peace requires to end the intercommunal violence and to bring those responsible of the attacks to justice.

" (..) For any durable peace to take hold in the country, intercommunal violence must be addressed, and the perpetrators investigated and prosecuted. It is also vital that peace-building between individual communities is locked in to this process," she said

She stressed that survivors of sexual violence arising from this violence must also be provided with appropriate medical and psychosocial support and that every effort must be made to reunify abducted children with their families.

According to the statement, evidence suggests that the attacks may have been instigated by political and traditional leaders who have allegedly mobilized armed youths and exploited pre-existing communal tensions over access to natural resources.

The UNHCR further pointed to the recent clashes in the Lakes State over cattle and access to water and grazing land and called for appropriate intervention by State authorities pointing to the risk of escalating retaliatory violence.

This was most recently evidenced by clashes in Lakes on 14 March, when at least 30 individuals were reportedly killed, and many others wounded, during fighting between Dinka sub-clans.

(ST)

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