The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday called out South Sudan authorities to address growing intercommunal violence in the country, reported UN News. The appeal was made after a recent increase in inter-communal fighting in the central and east parts of the country.
UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet expressed grave concern over the situation. She stated that the formation of the new unity government had raised hopes for South Sudan’s people, but inter-communal violence is a must for bringing peace to the troubled country.
“However, for any durable peace to take hold in the country, intercommunal violence must be addressed, and the perpetrators investigated and prosecuted”, she said. “It is also vital that peace-building between individual communities is locked into this process.”
Ms. Bachelet urged South Sudanese authorities to provide appropriate medical and psychosocial support to survivors of sexual violence related to this violence and reunite children with their families.
Last month, a number of civilians were killed and wounded in clashes in Jonglei state, located in the east, and more than 200 women and children were believed to have been abducted and subjected to sexual violence. Many homes were put on fire, forcing some 8,000 people to seek safety in makeshift shelters near the UN peacekeeping base in Pibor.
At least 30 people were killed last week in fighting between Dinka sub-clans in Lake state, which also left many others wounded.
Crippled with civil war for more than a decade, South Sudan recently saw the formation of a transitional government following follows weeks of negotiations between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Machar. The two leaders announced the formation of the unity government on February 22 in Juba in line with a revitalized peace agreement reached in September 2018.
Machar has been sworn in as First Vice President of the new Transitional Government of National Unity, while 34 ministers and 10 deputies have been appointed in President Kiir’s cabinet.