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    UN calls on South Sudan to stop supporting militias to end violence in Jonglei

    The United Nations has called on South Sudanese authorities to hold accountable the military and political figures who support the militias operating in the Jonglei region, with the aim of putting an end to the violence and bringing those responsible to justice.

    In its latest Human Rights report, the United Nations has denounced that between January and August 2020, organized and heavily armed militias from the Dinka, Nuer and Murle communities have planned and coordinated attacks against villages in Jonglei and the Greater Pibor administrative area, in the east of the country.

    At least fifty tribal chiefs and spiritual leaders, as well as other military and political elites, have directly or indirectly supported the attacks led by community militias in Jonglei, the text denounces.

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    In turn, the report details, members of the government and the opposition have “actively” participated in the fighting based on their kinship or as part of a “calculated” move to strengthen political alliances.

    “Six months after the latest devastating attack in Greater Jonglei, it must be clear that key figures at the local and national level, who deliberately fueled and exploited localized tensions, will be held accountable,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has warned.

    “The risk of these militias reactivating armed violence is too serious to ignore. It is of the utmost importance that the government take effective measures to ensure that members of the security forces cannot supply weapons from government stocks to these militias,” she demanded.

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    The report, jointly prepared by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Office of the High Commissioner, states that the Government of South Sudan “must take full responsibility for the harm inflicted on scores of civilians”.

    More than 738 people have been killed and 320 injured and at least 686 women and children have been abducted and 39 women raped during the eight months covered by the report. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced, humanitarian facilities looted, while some 86,000 head of cattle, valued at $35 million (29.3 million euros) have been stolen.

    The United Nations has criticized the South Sudanese authorities for failing to take any steps to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the human rights abuses that have been committed in the region in recent months.

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    Thus, while the authorities claim to have taken some steps to address this crisis, the UN is urging the government to halt the appointment of administrators and local assemblies throughout Jonglei and Greater Pibor to investigate all these allegations of human rights violations and abuses.

    When violence broke out, UNMISS quickly deployed its troops and peacekeepers to the affected areas. The Mission engaged with national and local political and tribal leaders to promote reconciliation, facilitated peace conferences and supported efforts to secure the release of hundreds of abducted women and children.

    Robert David
    Robert Davidhttps://awutar.com/author/robert/
    Robert David is a journalist of Awutar. If you want to get in touch with him write via: [email protected]

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