US Concerned Over Failure To Curb Jonglei Fighting

This article was last updated on May 25, 2022

“We are deeply disappointed. The SPLA did not establish a posture appropriate to defend civilians in vulnerable areas, despite advance warning of the mobilization of armed youth which has led to the current violence,” said US, adding that, the lack of action to protect civilians constitutes an “egregious abdication of responsibility” by the SPLA and the civilian government. 

“We urge government and community leaders to call on all armed youth to lay down their weapons immediately and return to their homes,” said a US government statement.

The US urges all actors on the ground, including David Yau Yau’s militia group and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), to allow humanitarian agencies to reach those civilians and communities ravaged by violence.

Pibor County Commissioner Joshua Irer Konyi told Gurtong that fight between the two communities of Lou Nuer and Murle is ongoing since 5th July. He is appealing for drastic measures from the Jonglei State government.

US has expressed deep concern over failure by leaders of ethnic communities to respect a covenant of peace sign in May this year, promising a new era of cooperation, stability and development.

Over the last several days, as South Sudan celebrates the second anniversary of its independence, members of these communities – including leaders and many of the youth – have tragically broken this promise of peace.

The armed youth of numerous communities, David Yau Yau and associated rebels, and the SPLA have exacerbated the current humanitarian crisis in and around Pibor County, which requires immediate corrective action by the government of South Sudan, with the help of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the international community, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), added US.

“We call on the SPLA to respect its status of forces agreement with UNMISS, and we reiterate that the government is responsible for preventing SPLA attacks on UN staff and humanitarian assets.”

“As the Republic of South Sudan celebrates its second anniversary as an independent nation, it is our sincere hope that the coming year brings accountability, reform, security, and peace. As a new national reconciliation initiative is launched, we encourage all communities to return to dialogue and address long-standing grievances – including returning abducted women and children to their families and ceasing cattle raiding, among other instigators of conflict. Now more than ever, we urge all parties to recommit to the covenants agreed to in the All Jonglei Peace Conference of May 2012.”

The South Sudanese President Salva Kiir on Tuesday reiterated his commitment to peace dialogue with the rebel leader David Yau Yau and urged all other rebels to join those who surrendered in recent months.

However, David Yau Yau in previous press was quoted saying he needs the intervention of an international agent in the mediation of his peace talks with the government.

Last week, UN Undersecretary for Peace Operations upon visiting South Sudan described the crisis as “concern” to the international community and has urged all efforts to avert it.

Early this year, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has warned the Jonglei crisis may likely spread to become a national crisis if government do not exert double efforts to get rid of it. 

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