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Upper Nile fighting poses threat to 2024 elections, say Troika, EU

Upper Nile fighting poses threat to 2024 elections, say Troika, EU
Some of the displaced persons in Upper Nile. Courtesy photo

The European Union and Troika have expressed concern over the escalating fighting in the Upper Nile region, which has continued to inflict deaths, human right abuses and humanitarian crisis on the citizens.

The foreign countries say the leaders’ failure to stop fighting further questions the government’s commitment to end the transitional period.

In a joint statement issued on Friday, the bodies say they are disturbed by the extent to which the conflict is escalating and causing crisis to the citizens.

“These killings, homes and livelihoods burned and destroyed, and sexual and gender-based violence being perpetrated – including against minors – are horrifying and cannot go unaddressed,” the statement partly reads.

The Western countries note that the impact of this violence on an already dire humanitarian situation is further devastating vulnerable communities and their access to health and education services.

They accuse the “transitional leaders” of the peace government of being behind the continuous conflict in the area.

“It is clear that South Sudan’s transitional leaders bear a share of the responsibility for the escalation of this violence, and primary responsibility for ending it,” it states.

In August 2022, the revitalized transitional government started graduating the unified forces across the country to end the rampant insecurities and to create conducive environment to the citizens – a move which is a milestone in the agreement as the country prepares to end the transitional period.

In the same month, the parties agreed to extend the agreement for 24 months to allow the RTGoNU to complete the remaining tasks in the implementation of the peace agreements.

Stabilizing security across the country and creating humanitarian access to the communities are benchmarks for the implementation of the remaining tasks before the end of the transitional period.

“Each missed implementation benchmark further calls into question the political commitment of South Sudan’s leaders to end the transitional period in two years,” The statement further states.

The foreign countries call upon South Sudan leaders to show commitment to the peace agreement and find ways of ending conflict in the region:

“The EU and the Troika urgently call on South Sudan’s transitional leaders to act now to end the violence and protect civilians. Inaction now will lead to more innocent South Sudanese lives lost and a humanitarian situation that continues to worsen with each month.”

The statement also indicates that the fighting, which began in August in the upper Nile Region, has so far displaced close to 500,000 people and killed dozens.