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UN documents 64 rapes cases and 72 civilians killed in Leer’s recent violence

UN documents 64 rapes cases and 72 civilians killed in Leer’s recent violence
Adok port's Market burnt during the fighting in Leer, Unity State

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan says seventy-four civilians were killed, 11 injured, and armed groups committed 64 cases of sexual violence between 17 February and 7 April. It condemned the widespread sexual violence and killing of civilians in Leer County, Unity State.

In the statement, the UN reported that beheading, burning alive of civilians, and attacks on humanitarians were also documented.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-general, Nicolas Haysom, said atrocities committed to human rights violations during a surge in violence carried out by armed youth from Koch and Mayendit Counties.

“The Mission urges national and local authorities to take immediate measures to reduce tensions and prevent further escalations and retaliatory attacks. Impunity on human rights violations must end, and perpetrators held accountable for these horrible crimes,” said Haysom.

The UNMISS Chief said it engages with leadership at the capital and state levels to mitigate violence while civil affairs teams meet with communities to conduct focus group discussions in conflict-affected areas.

The Mission has welcomed initial steps taken to form an investigation committee and the deployment of SSPDF to restore security.

Fighting erupted on 7 April in Leer County that killed dozens of civilians, including one aid worker from Medicine San Frontiers (MSF) or Doctors without Borders.

According to reports, 40,000 people have fled the violence in Leer, crossing the Nile to Fangak in Jonglei State.

Thousands of cattle were reportedly raided during the attacks, and markets and homes have been burned down.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit formed seven members committee to investigate the fighting that erupted in Leer, Unity State.