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U.S concerned over heightened inter-communal violence

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Thursday, June 11, 2020

File: South Sudanese fleeing violence in South Sudan Kieran Doherty/Oxfam

The U.S Embassy in Juba says it is deeply concerned by heightened violence that has plagued communities across South Sudan in recent months.


The concerns come days after the UN chief in South Sudan, David Shearer warned that if inter-communal violence goes unaddressed, it could risk the achievements of the peace agreement.

Last week, the UN Mission said it recorded 415 violent incidents between communities from January to March this year, up from 129 during the same period in 2019.

It says while fighting between political parties has significantly reduced as factions broadly respect the ceasefire, the scope and intensity of the current outbreak of inter-communal violence could threaten the fragile peace.

Since December 2019, there has been an escalating cycle of violence in Jonglei involving three ethnic groups.

In a press statement on Wednesday, the US Embassy says it has seen a series of concerning reports regarding mobilization by armed combatants among multiple communities in Jonglei state.

This, according to the U.S, could continue the series of revenge attacks that have led to the deaths, displacement, and abduction of civilians.

The U.S called on the country’s national and local leaders to urgently seek de-escalation and dialogue among affected communities.

“While we recognize that grievances among communities and other motivations may exist, we are deeply concerned by reports of the involvement of uniformed combatants and the reported use of weapons such as machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades in some instances,” it said.

The Mission further urged the country’s leaders to find solutions to the violence across the country.

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