UNMISS Appeals For Calm Amid Rising Violence in Unity State

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has called for calm in Unity State and urged national and local authorities to take immediate measures to reduce tensions in the state.

This comes after a serious intercommunal fight in Leer County that happened on February 23.

In a statement released by UNMISS, several civilians have been killed, injured, and some forced to flee their homes.

“Civilian property was destroyed, and humanitarian supplies were looted. Local health facilities in Leer town reported nine women raped, “the statement read in part.

UNMISS condemned the violence and said it comes at a time when humanitarian needs are rising, and people are already reeling from the effects of the worst flooding in decades.

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The fighting has reportedly begun in Mirmir Payam, Unity State, when the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition and armed youth clashed in several villages in Koch, Mayiandit, and Leer.

“The mission has committed to increasing patrols and working with all stakeholders at the state and national levels, including local authorities and communities, to promote dialogue and alleviate tensions and instability,” the statement said.

They called on the government to prosecute those who instigated and participated in the violence.

Last week, Lawmakers representing Unity State and Ruweng Administrative Area were demanding the creation of a buffer zone between conflicting communities in Pariang County.

They said the situation had remained tense in the area and that it required immediate intervention from the security forces to prevent potential clashes between Unity and Ruweng residents.

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On February 17, the representative of Unity State and Ruweng Administrative Area visited Vice President Taban Deng Gai and discussed ways to end the conflict.

The group resolved that security forces must be deployed to quell the conflict.

They also agreed with the vice president to form a delegation that would travel to the area to preach peace to the rival communities and ensure the deceased are buried.

“We are sorry for what happened between communities of Ruweng Administrative Area and Unity State in Pariang, and we have agreed with the Vice President to call on security to create a buffer zone between the two areas,” said Choi Machar, who is a member of the Council of States.

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On February 18, authorities in Unity State reported 15 deaths in clashes that were caused by armed youth from Leer and Mayendit counties of Unity State.

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