27th January 2023
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Violence against civilians reduced in 2021 – UN report

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Friday, February 18, 2022

Part of Anet Market in Agok area that was torched by gunmen on February 11, 2022 - Courtesy

A new human rights report has shown significant reduction in violence against civilians in South Sudan last year.

 

The report released by UNMISS’s Rights Division yesterday, indicated 42 percent reduction in violence against civilians in 2021.

The right division said it documented 3,414 civilian victims compared to 5,850 in 2020 who were subjected to killing, injury, abduction and conflict-related sexual violence.

UNMISS rights division said the 2021 report documented the victims in 982 incidents.

It says most of the victims were men representing 70% followed by women at 14% and children 11%.

The mission said cases of conflict-related sexual violence declined slightly from 211 in 2020 to 194 in 2021 – but remained unacceptably.

It stated that in 2021, Warrap state had the highest number of civilian casualties at 24 percent.

Then followed by Western Equatoria state at 19 percent, with Jonglei third and Greater Pibor Administrative Area 17% respectively.

The report pointed out that most of the victims were killed or injured during attacks by armed community-based militias across Jonglei and Greater Pibor Area.

The watchdog group said in May 2021, violence surged with at least 230 killed, 178 abducted and 14 women subject to conflict-related sexual violence.

In Western Equatoria’s Tambura conflict, the violence resulted in 440 deaths, 18 injuries, 74 abductions and 64 victims of sexual violence.

The fighting which involved ethnic militias who are allegedly affiliated with conventional parties to the conflict resulted in an estimated 80,000 people displaced.

Linda Tom, the spokesperson of the UN Mission in South Sudan urged the government of South Sudan to investigate human rights violations and abuses, and to hold all perpetrators accountable.

“In 2021, the mission established 116 temporary operating bases to enhance the protection of the civilians through sustained long and short distance patrols,”  Tom stated in a statement.

“The mission engaged in political and community consultations at the local, state and national levels as well as adopted a humanitarian development peace nexus approach.

“UNMISS urges the government of South Sudan to investigate human rights violations and abuses, and to hold all perpetrators accountable, particularly as violence continues to surge in several parts of the country.”

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