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UN, AU, Others Call for Immediate Intervention to Stop Carnage in South Sudan

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The growing violence in the Greater Pibor area by armed youths from Jonglei has been condemned by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and international allies.

There have reportedly been 57 fatalities and more than a dozen injuries since Sunday.

In a statement released on Wednesday, UNMISS and its collaborators expressed their “deep worry” at the violence that has been rising, the deaths it has caused, and reports of the possible use of heavy weapons.

Other collaborators include the African Union mission, the regional group IGAD, the so-called Troika (the United States, United Kingdom, and Norway), the European Union, and the organization in charge of enforcing the South Sudanese conflict resolution agreement (R-JMEC).

Youths from the Nuer community had attacked members of the Murle ethnic minority in Greater Pibor, according to news reports citing a local authority. The Greater Pibor communications minister claims that armed teenagers raided the village of Lanam to start the fighting.

According to him, there were fatalities among both factions, and the injured included 17 members of the Murle community. According to reports, Jonglei’s information minister also denounced the fighting and urged the state’s young combatants to stop using violence right away and go home.

Both prominent local officials reportedly demanded central Government assistance to stop the bloodshed.

The world’s youngest nation has been plagued by conflict between President Salva Kiir‘s government forces and fighters who support his challenger Riek Machar since shortly after it declared independence from the Sudan in 2011.

In a joint statement, the UN and its allies pleaded with both sides to “immediately halt hostilities, display restraint, and respect human rights.”

The leaders of South Sudan were urged “to swiftly intervene to cease the conflict and secure the safety and security of civilians as well as unhindered humanitarian access to persons affected by the fighting,” they said.

The necessity to look into and prosecute all violent offenders, “particularly those who are provoking and inciting violence and those responsible for the kidnapping of women and children,” was emphasized.

In addition, the statement urged traditional leaders and national lawmakers to persuade young combatants to put an end to their violence and embrace “a dialogue-based approach that focuses on restoring quiet and peacefully resolving the conflict’s core causes.”

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