UN asks SSPDF to de-escalate violence in Upper Nile

The United Nations mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, says it is deeply concerned about the emerging reports of violence in Fashoda between Shilluk armed youth and Nuer elements in Upper Nile state. “The fighting is impacting the lives of many civilians, with reports of further displacements into Malakal and Kodok towns,” said the UN in a press statement released on 19 November 2022.

It added that the situation remains tense and volatile and has called on South Sudan people defense forces for urgent intervention to de-escalate the violence.

“Tensions and sporadic violence between different groups that started in these areas in August 2022 have resulted in the displacement of thousands of people, as well as the harassment and killings of others, and the destruction of property,” said the UN statement.

The Mission calls on the government authorities, key community leaders, and elders from both Shilluk and Nuer groups in Jonglei and Upper Nile states to use their influence to stop the brutal violence and prevent further suffering of civilians.

The Mission appeals to those who mobilize the youth for violence in both communities to stop such mobilization and instead embrace peaceful means to address any grievance.
UNMISS further urges the IDP population in the Malakal POC site to exercise restraint and not get drawn into this latest violence flare-up.

It said that in light of the ongoing killings and abuse of innocent civilians, they believe there will be consequences for those who continue to perpetrate this violence.

The Mission said it continues safeguarding humanitarian access, establishing temporary operating bases, and intensifying patrols in hotspot areas to deter violence.

The UN mission said their personnel would continue to work with political and traditional leaders to promote dialogue and intercommunal confidence-building and support efforts toward reconciliation and durable peacebuilding.