South Sudan: heavy fighting and reported ‘atrocities’ in northeast force UN to evacuate staff

UN News Centre

Leer, the home town of Dr. Riek Machar in Unity State, South Sudan, which government troops burned to ashes after the governement soldier attacked and burned it down, which resulted in many civilian casualties. Like in Leer the government troops are restricting humanitarian access in Guit and Koch, which they recent attacked and temporarily occupied(Photo:  supplied)

Leer, the home town of Dr. Riek Machar in Unity State, South Sudan, which government troops burned to ashes after the governement soldier attacked and burned it down, which resulted in many civilian casualties. Like in Leer the government troops are restricting humanitarian access in Guit and Koch, which they recent attacked and temporarily occupied(Photo: supplied)

May 11, 2015(Nyamilepedia) – The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has expressed growing concern about “continuing and consistent reports” emanating from two north-eastern counties regarding a surge in kidnappings and rapes and an overall uptick in violence, which has forced UN and other aid agencies to withdraw staff from the region.

According to credible information collected by the UN Mission, numerous towns and villages in Guit and Koch counties, located in Unity state, have been reported as “burned” amid killings, abductions of males as young as 10 years of age, rape and abduction of girls and women, and the forced displacement of civilians.

“Although it is unclear who committed such atrocities, it is the responsibility of the Government to ensure that all civilians are protected, as well as for all parties to ensure that all civilians are protected, as well as for all parties to ensure appropriate command and control of their combatants to prevent the targeting of civilians,” UNMISS declared in a statement issued earlier today.

The Mission added that it had experienced “exceedingly limited access to the affected areas” as well as “increasingly aggressive” behaviour toward UN staff from soldiers at checkpoints which, it said, would appear to reflect “a lack of control by local authorities over security checkpoints.”

South Sudan has been in the grip of conflict since December 2013 – a conflict marked by brutal violence against civilians and deepening suffering across the country. The major humanitarian consequences are widespread displacement due to the violence, including high rates of death, disease, and injuries, severe food insecurity and disrupted livelihoods, and a major malnutrition crisis.

Some 119,000 people are sheltered in UNMISS compounds across the country while the Organization estimates that the number of people in need for 2015 will include an anticipated 1.95 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and a projected 293,000 refugees.

The latest reports also follow the recent release of child soldiers by South Sudanese militia groups.

The UN estimates that 13,000 children are associated with armed forces and groups nationwide in South Sudan, with credible evidence indicating that both of the warring parties have engaged in the recruitment of child soldiers since the current conflict began in December 2013.

Adding her voice to the statement, Ellen Margrethe Løj, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and head of UNMISS, reminded the parties to the conflict of their “obligation to abide by international human rights and humanitarian law” and urged them to take “all measures not to harm civilians and guarantee the safety of international aid organizations and United Nations personnel and assets.”

“There is no legitimate reason to burn civilian homes, or target civilian girls, boys, women or men through violence, including sexual violence,” Ms. Løj concluded.

At the same time, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, warned that ongoing hostilities in Unity state had now obliged all non-governmental organizations and UN agencies to evacuate staff, bringing relief efforts south of the town of Bentiu to a grinding halt.

As a consequence, he added, over 300,000 civilians in need of emergency relief, including food aid and medical services, remained devoid of any “life-saving assistance.”

Moreover, the renewed violence comes at a time when regional food stocks remain depleted and at the height of the planting season when civilians could be planting crops for later in the year.

“Aid agencies are committed to returning to all areas of southern Unity and continuing emergency operations there as soon as it is safe for them to do so,” Mr. Lanzer continued. “I therefore call for assurances from the parties to the conflict that the work of aid agencies on behalf of populations in need, based on the principles of humanity, impartiality and neutrality, can continue without delay.”

~ UN News Centre

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  14 comments for “South Sudan: heavy fighting and reported ‘atrocities’ in northeast force UN to evacuate staff

  1. GatNor
    May 11, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Reblogged this on GatNor and commented:
    Toby Lanzer,” Warned that ongoing hostilities in Unity state had now obliged all non-governmental organizations and UN agencies to evacuate staff, bringing relief efforts south of the town of Bentiu to a grinding halt.”

    Like

  2. May 11, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Mr. Toby Lanzer and mrs Loj, you show your ally to rotten regime in Juba by condemning military attack on SPLA Juba Barracks by SPLA IO in Upper Nile and not condemn civilian and humanitarian attack by SPLA Juba in Unity State. why crying if you still consider Juba as legitimate Government? I never see your condemnation since the beginning of hostility in Unity State where mass population displacement, rape, killing of innocent people and burning of civilian houses. I hope you are also in planing of attacking Southern part of Unity State with government so that you keep on requesting funding instead of condemning this act by Juba regime in order to allow civilian to peacefully cultivate their land. I quoted “There is no legitimate reason to burn civilian homes, or target civilian girls, boys, women or men through violence, including sexual violence,” Ms. Løj concluded this paragraph itself is showing Juba regime is not legitimate but who will read and analyze this since all illiterate and don’t have even media account? they always depend on news papers and thought that it is a fabrication from editors of news papers.

    Like

    • May 11, 2015 at 8:02 pm

      That is how conflict about or how war effect about,hunger will happen there if those of the so-called SPLM-IO are still going on with their MURMURING.

      Like

    • GatNor
      May 11, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      That’s correct I thought I was the only one noticing that too. Its like the UN officials are scared to death of speaking the truth on the Juba violations of international laws & treaties relating to the very work the UN is there do carry out in South Sudan.

      Like

  3. May 11, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Burning down villages and towns to ashes shows too much enmity in our society. How are we going to overcome this bitterness? Both military soldiers in the government or opposition have lost respect and dignity in our society. Destruction will never take us anywhere.

    What makes us to destroy our country and properties? We South Sudanese people shed blood to gain this nation. We fought Arabs and won the war by bringing Independence. Does it really making sense to destroy our own properties? It is really sad. How can we stop the violent in South Sudan? Peace is within our hearts. How can we all reach this peace so we can stop the violence?

    How can our people put the guns down and reach out peace which is already within them? We will never get this peace outside our hearts. Peace is free because it is inside our hearts. Let each and everyone of us realizes that peace is within us. Each and every one of us needs to respect oneself first. Then we extend our respect to those who are surrounded us. Then we extent our respect to our Counties, payams, Bomas, States, and Nations. Then we can all unite build the nation.

    We need respect, trust, and kindness. If we respect one another, we make it easier for us to work together as a people of one nation. If we trust one another’s view points, as we are kind to each other, we can live in peace and harmony because of our kindness.

    Disrespect, corruptions, greediness, nepotism and tribalism has destroyed our society. Let us replace all these with respect, trust, and kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 11, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      I think Think-Tanks did the right thing,should have been a disaster and throwaway money if there were good building in Unity State.They knew that Unity State is not going to stay in Peace.

      Like

  4. May 11, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    That is who War about, those villages will not cultivate in the coming raining reason.

    Like

  5. May 11, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    it is clear Juba is commited to war rather than bringing peace to s.sudan.
    UN SC and UNMISS already knows how and when these atrocities are committed by Juba regime.
    The only way is to topple Juba regime for the sake of peace in s.Sudan

    Like

  6. May 11, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    it is clear Juba is commited to war rather than bringing peace to s.sudan.
    UN SC and UNMISS already knows how and when these atrocities are committed by Juba regime.
    The only way is to topple Juba regime for the sake of peace in s.Sudan
    No need of crying

    Like

  7. May 12, 2015 at 3:45 am

    When humanitarian workers intimidating and threats happen under SPL IO, Toby Lanzer always came out boldly to condemn it though nobody went there. He always did it based on report he got from Juba regime but if Juba regime Kills, intimidate and threat Humanitarian, he (Toby) always report that Juba is refusing humanitarian to go and verify SPLA IO claim. Is this a neutrality?

    Liked by 1 person

    • GatNor
      May 12, 2015 at 8:57 am

      Don’t put your whole faith and trust on Mr Lanzer because the main objective the UN is in South Sudan is to facilitate the gold loots from around the country and mainly in Equatoria region and its only possible with the present of Juba government. Even though Juba government seems like the bad guy for all South Sudanese, it is actually good for the UN and US agents desperately on a gold stealing mission around the world to go pay their debts to the Chinese who are refusing computer generated money but tangible Gold as the currency of choice. Economically UN which is a US franchise is also in a deep sh*t with the Chinese ruling families in which they owe so much trillion of dollars worth of gold and Lanzer must handle Juba with care and not risk jeopardizing the whole operation.

      Like

  8. May 12, 2015 at 4:29 am

    Move the war to Dinka areas and Salva will come to his sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • GatNor
      May 12, 2015 at 9:18 am

      Once you do that the Jaang Council of Elders, US, European Union, African Union & the IGADs will be forced to act in favor of peaceful settlement of the conflict once they realized their puppet Kiir will be chased out of power and as a result could deprived them of any monopoly over South Sudan’s natural resources including the gold they are after. Mining gold could be facilitated through legal contracts so it benefit everyone including the people in the region in which the gold or oil is being taken out from. To continue war is not necessary but it will surely continue if they don’t act or back off and eventually the Oppositions will find an alliance that will help them push Kiir out and mutually invest good governance and in areas of infrastructure and economic developments and not loot the country dry.

      Like

    • May 12, 2015 at 9:41 pm

      Edward ,war is war ,when Nuer start shooting in Juba and burnt all the great upper Nile state capitals ,which they were meaning Kiir and Dinka government dismantle. The same people who massacre Bor community in 1991. the hatre and revenge is deep. This country with Nuer culture of violent and looting without their respect to Dinka properties ,as Nuer culture said that ,Nuer have right to take Dinka cows, and put more atrocities on them as in heritage war. Make sure Kiir Dinka and Reik Nuer have no peace . culturally Nuer like to organize atrocities against this country , like now is being support military by Khartoum , whom they were collaborators against SPLA, liberation war. Let Nuer go back to their father Arab , otherwise SPLA,Kiir and Dinka will mistreat them because of their greedy and looting attitudes. , The same Reik who destroyed the South is continuing destroying.Let Nuer population suffer world wide they deserve it , because God said what you do to others will be done to you . when they burnt Dinka and government towns ,they thinks , it will not reach their mothers in hiding . Nuer are quick to done bad things and slow or not knowing totally to do good things, Nuer cause insecurity all over the country

      Like

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