Leer fighting worries UNMISS

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says it is concerned by a fighting in Leer, Unity State.

On Tuesday, pro-government forces and armed youth reportedly attacked Kai Gai – a military base operated by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLM-IO).

The clashes led to displacement of thousands of civilians, some of whom are currently in Leer town, according to the UN mission.

“I am very concerned by the reports of youth being mobilized, and of defections by some armed personnel – which go against the very spirit of the Revitalized Peace Agreement,” said Mr. Nicholas Haysom, the Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of UNMISS.

“This can destroy the trust and gains between parties to the peace process and worsen the humanitarian situation in Unity State and in the country.”

UNMISS called on all parties to take immediate measures to deescalate hostilities and use peaceful means to resolve any disputes.

UNMISS is mandated to carry out tasks in four key areas — protection of civilians; creation of conditions conducive to the delivery of humanitarian assistance; support for the implementation of the September 2018 peace deal.

It’s also tasked with the monitoring, investigating, and reporting on violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights — while requesting the Secretary-General to inform it of any obstacles and stressing that the protection of civilians shall be given priority.