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Civilians continue to bear the brunt of violence in S Sudan – UNMISS

Civilians continue to bear the brunt of violence in S Sudan – UNMISS
Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations to South Sudan and the head the United Nations Mission in South Sudan addressing the 26th plenary meeting of the R-JMEC on January 26th, 2023 in Juba. Credit | Daniel Garang Deng

Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the violence in South Sudan, according to the latest Human Rights brief from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

The mission says it has documented 222 incidents of violence against civilians, including 128 children, whereby 395 civilians were killed, 281 injured, 166 abducted, and 29 were subjected to conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) between April and June. 2023

The report states that in the previous quarter (Jan-Mar 2023), there is a 14 per cent increase in violent incidents (194 to 222) and a five per cent decrease in civilians harmed (from 920 to 871).

The number of civilians killed decreased by two per cent (from 405 to 395), the number of people injured increased by 20 per cent (from 235 to 281), and the number of abductions decreased from 266 to 166, while the number of victims subjected to CRSV increased from 14 to 29.

“Ordinary civilians in South Sudan pay dearly for these acts of violence. It is critical to strengthen justice and accountability systems for such crimes,” said Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary General’s Special Representative in South Sudan.

The brief seen by The Radio Community shows that Warrap State was the most affected by the chronic violence and accounted for 34 per cent of all civilian victims, followed by Jonglei, Upper Nile, Eastern Equatoria and Central Equatoria States.

Also, at least 20 individuals faced affected unwarranted restrictions of fundamental freedoms, including through continuous censorship, harassment, arbitrary arrests, detention, and ill-treatment of individuals expressing critical or divergent views by security forces, which negatively impacted civic and political space.

‘‘UNMISS will continue to provide technical assistance and advocacy for a conducive environment for the exercise of civic and political freedoms as prerequisite for free, fair, and credible elections in 2024,” Haysom added.