Gov’t urged to stop hostilities in Pibor Administrative Area

The international community has called upon Kiir administration to intervene in the ongoing violence in Pibor Administrative Area.

The fighting, which began on Christmas Eve in Gumuruk between the armed youth from Jonglei State and Pibor has claimed 56 lives and injured 17 people on the second day of attack on December 26.

The current update is yet to be received from the authorities engaged in the confrontation.

However, in a joint statement issued on Wednesday by UNMISS, AUMISS, IGAD, Troika, EU and R-JMEC, the partners said the fighting is worrying and they are very concerned of its impact on citizens and the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

“UNMISS, AUMISS, IGAD, the Troika, EU and R-JMEC call on South Sudanese leaders to urgently intervene to stop the fighting and ensure the safety and security of civilians as well as unimpeded humanitarian access to people affected by the fighting,” the statement reads.

On Wednesday, authorities in Pibor Administrative Area said the fighting has displaced 10,000 women and children to the neighboring areas as the attacking militias and defending youth of Pibor fight in Gumuruk.

The international partners and missions in South Sudan said they also received reports of alleged using of heavy weapons that are causing massive loss of lives and properties in the area by the groups of youth engaged in fighting.

The peace partners said the continuous confrontations in the area pose a serious risk to the peace and stability of the South Sudanese people.

They called for immediate cessation of hostilities and respect of human rights.

“UNMISS and international partners strongly encourage national politicians and traditional leaders to persuade youth to immediately stop the violence and pursue a dialogue-based approach that focuses on restoring calm and peacefully resolving the root causes of the conflict,” the statement continues.

While the UN and partners request CTSAMVM to investigate the violence and urge the parties to the conflict to facilitate access, they also emphasize the need to investigate and hold accountable all perpetrators of the conflict, including those who are instigating and inciting violence and those responsible for the abduction of women and children.

On Wednesday, the military issued a statement accusing the militias of attacking their base in Gumuruk of Pibor Administrative Area.

The spokesperson of the SSPDF said the government forces and the militias are engaged in the confrontation in Gumuruk and warned that as long as the attacking militias don’t pull back from the greater pibor administrative area, they will continue to fight.