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Troika, church voice concerns over plot of militia attacks in Upper Nile

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Friday, June 30, 2023

Flags of the Troika Countries | File photo.

Troika nations have reiterated concerns over reports of mobilization by militia groups in Upper Nile State saying the situation poses a threat to the lives of thousands of people at the UNMISS-run PoCs. 

In a joint statement on Friday, the Embassies of Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States in South Sudan urged influential leaders to immediately take actions that support peace and security in the volatile state.

The Western countries are calling for accountability against those responsible for or encouraging violence.

Troika’s joint letter further said those obstructing peace progress in the area, are placing the interests of the South Sudanese people at risk.

“The Embassies of Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States are gravely concerned by continued reports of mobilization of armed groups in Upper Nile State, including threats to those living in the Malakal Protection of Civilians (POC) site,” said the statement.

“We urge those in a position of influence to engage immediately in support of peace and security, and we call for those responsible for encouraging violence to be held accountable.”

The diplomatic missions said such reports further underscore the urgency of deploying the Necessary Unified Forces (the NUF) as provided for in the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.

Troika adds: “Those who obstruct progress toward this objective are placing the interests of the South Sudanese people at risk.”

Meanwhile on Thursday, June 29, 2023, Upper Nile State Governor James Odhok told Eye Radio his government has beefed up security in the state and the capital Malakal amid the reported tension.

Odhok’s statement comes a day after the Executive Director of Community Empowerment raised concerns over a “looming revenge attack by the White Army” allegedly targeting the displaced persons.

Edmond Yakani said the White Army has carried out armed mobilization to raid Malakal PoC, and that forces of General Johnson Olony set up defenses in the area.

But governor James said there are ongoing dialogues taking place between the various communities to deescalate the recent tensions and prevent any potential outbreak of violence.

– Church urges action –

The South Sudan Catholic Bishops also warned, on Friday, of possible escalation of sub-national violence if it is not addressed.

Metropolitan Archbishop of Juba Stephen Ameyu speaks at a news conference. June 30, 2023. | Photo: Charles Wote/Eye Radio.

In a joint statement read by Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Juba, the clergies called on the government to address before it grown into a full-blown conflict.

“We are aware of also the little conflicts that we have in all the parts of South Sudan in our villages,” His Grace Ameyu said.

South Sudan Catholic Bishops issue a joint statement on the conflict in Sudan and the situation in South Sudan. | Photo: Charles Wote/Eye Radio

“These conflicts would grown into a full-blown conflict so they should not be dismissed as local and communal and tribal conflict because the source of these conflicts that are happening in our country side are all emanating from here in Juba.”

“Therefore, we as the Bishops of South Sudan would recommend that the government put its own effort in order to quarry down the internal conflicts in the community.”




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