At least 72 people have been killed and 11 injured in a series of intercommunal conflicts in southern Sudan’s Leer County of Upper Nile State, according to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS ).
In a press release seen by The EastAfrican on Monday, UNMISS said it had also registered 64 cases of sexual violence.
“UNMISS strongly condemns widespread sexual violence, killings, including beheadings, burning of civilians alive and attacks on humanitarian workers in Leer County.
“These are among human rights abuses documented during a spate of violence were killed by armed youths from Koch and Mayendit counties,” the mission said.
Two survivors said they were repeatedly raped by a group after they came out of hiding to get food for their children to search.
“Another woman who had recently given birth said she was raped and severely beaten for three days. I am deeply appalled by these horrific attacks on civilians in Leer.
“We must all do what we can to ensure that victims and survivors receive the justice they deserve and the care and support they deserve need them,” he said The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom.
UNMISS says at least 40,000 people have fled the violence in Leer, according to initial reports According to thousands, thousands crossed the Nile to Fangak in Jonglei state.
“Thousands of cattle were raided and markets, homes and humanitarian facilities and warehouses were looted and burned.” p>
“The rainy season has already begun along with the threat of flooding creating a perilous situation for thousands of IDPs. Violence in Mayendit and Koch counties, including Mirmir Payam, is also being investigated,” UNMISS added Conduct patrols, including night patrols in the town of Leer to prevent further casualties.
“Peacekeepers provide protection for displaced people and humanitarian workers who attend to the needs of survivors.
< p class="align--justify">“However, the protection of civilians is primarily the responsibility of the government. The Mission welcomes the first steps taken to form a committee of inquiry and the use of SSPDF to restore security,” said UNMISS.
The Head of Mission urged national and local authorities to take immediate action to defuse tensions and prevent escalation and retaliatory attacks.
“Impunity for human rights abuses must end and perpetrators of these horrific crimes must be held accountable. UNMISS is also working with capital and state leadership to curb violence, while civil affairs teams meet with communities to conduct focus group discussions in conflict zones,” Haysom said.