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Thousands fled to Leer town as ‘pro-govt forces’ attacked SPLA-IO, says UNMISS

Author: Staff Writter | Published: Thursday, November 30, 2023

Photo: Civilians in Leer seen in this picture fleeing the town after SSPDF and SPLA-IO clash Tuesday Morning, Nov. 28, 2023 - Courtesy

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says it took notes of an attack by pro-government forces and armed youth on the Kai Gai base of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLM-IO), Unity State.

“The Mission takes note of reported attacks early on 28 November by pro-government forces and armed youth against a base operated by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLM-IO),” the state reads.

UNMISS calls for an immediate end to the fighting in and around Kai Gai, near Leer town in Unity State.

The UN mission confirms that thousands of civilians have fled from the affected areas and are currently seeking refuge in Leer town.

The UNMISS head, Nicholas Hyasom expresses concern over the violence.

“I am very concerned by the reports of youth being mobilized, and of defections by some armed personnel – which go against the very spirit of the Revitalized Peace Agreement,” said Mr. Nicholas Haysom, the Special Representative to the Secretary-General and head of UNMISS.

He also said; “This can destroy the trust and gains between parties to the peace process and worsen the humanitarian situation in Unity State and the country,” he added.

The Mission calls on all parties to take immediate measures to de-escalate hostilities and use peaceful means to resolve any disputes.

UNMISS further said it appreciates the efforts of state authorities who responded promptly to reduce tensions in the area.

In the meantime, it said, UN peacekeepers have stepped up patrols in the affected areas to defuse tensions and support local authorities to restore security and calm.

According to Mission, it is also “engaging with officials in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and SPLM-IO political and military authorities across the State to ensure restraint and order.”

Speaking to Eye Radio on Friday, SSPDF spokesperson Col. Lul Ruai said the splinter group under Simon Maguek made a political declaration paying allegiance to SPLM, but the forces not part of the SSPDF.

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