Dec. 28 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The South Sudanese Army has confirmed fighting between the military and “heavily armed” militiamen in the Pibor Administrative Area (east), amid the upsurge in intercommunity clashes in this area of the African country.
The spokesman for the South Sudanese Army, Lul Ruai Koang, has stated that White Army militias supported by the South Sudan Armed Forces have launched offensives in the area in light of the latest incidents. “Army forces are still in active combat in the town of Kongor, in Lokuangole,” he said, before noting that pro-government forces withdrew from the Gumuruk area on December 27, according to the Eye Radio station.
Thus, he stressed that the attacks against these towns “are a clear act of rebellion that must be faced”, after the Pibor Information Minister, Abraham Kelang Jiji, denounced the death of more than 55 people in inter-community clashes. .
Kelanj Jiji explained that they had resulted in at least 56 dead and 17 injured, who have been transferred to medical centers in the town of Gumuruk. Local authorities have reported that the attackers came from areas of adjacent Jonglei state.
For this reason, the Jonglei authorities have called on the central government to intervene and put an end to the fighting, while they have called for the withdrawal of the assailants. Jonglei’s Information Minister, John Samuel Manyoun, has branded these people “criminals.”
“If they are from Jonglei, the Jonglei government asks them to return to the places they came from,” he said, before denouncing “a cycle of violence that has existed for many years.” “We want support from the national government and our partners to solve this cycle of violence,” she stressed.
Last week the United Nations expressed its “deep concern” over calls for the mobilization of members of the Nuer community in Greater Jonglei and warned that it could lead to “massive attacks” against the population in this area of South Sudan.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said in a statement that “these mobilizations have the potential to unleash violent attacks that seriously impact civil society” and stated that “any upsurge in the conflict would undermine progress towards peace achieved by contacts between leaders of Jonglei State and Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA)”.
South Sudan has a unity government that began after the materialization of the 2018 peace agreement between the president, Salva Kiir, and the rebel leader Riek Machar, which led to the latter returning to the position of first vice president from the African country.
Despite the decrease in violence due to the political conflict, the country has registered an increase in inter-community confrontations, mainly motivated by the theft of cattle and disputes between herders and farmers in the most fertile areas of the country, especially due to the increase in desertification and displacement of populations.