Joint Statement by UNMISS and the international community on violence in Upper Nile and surrounding areas
Juba, 2 December 2022: UNMISS, AUMISS, IGAD, R-JMEC, some members of the African Diplomatic Corps and some members of the international community (TROIKA, EU, Switzerland, India) in South Sudan convened a meeting to discuss the deteriorating security situation in Upper Nile State and the northern parts of Jonglei State. The participants expressed deep concern over the escalating violence between parties to the ongoing conflict and between communities in the affected areas.
Noting the significant impact of the deteriorating security situation on communities — with innocent lives being lost, thousands displaced, livelihoods and property destroyed in both Upper Nile and Jonglei States — UNMISS and the members of the international community call on the Government of South Sudan to further engage the armed elements involved in the conflict to immediately cease the violence and encourage Shilluk and Nuer community leaders in both states as well as in Juba to help stop this mayhem.
The members of the international community expressed serious concern over UNMISS reports of continued attacks on internally displaced persons camps and the increased risk of conflict-related sexual violence. Furthermore, the members of the international community call upon all those involved in the conflict to respect human rights and international humanitarian law. In connection, it was underscored that there will be consequences for those who continue to incite and engage in violations. UNMISS and the members of the international community also urge those displaced as well as local communities to exercise restraint and address their grievances through dialogue.
This situation has also hindered the free movement of civilians and goods, impeded UNMISS operations and humanitarian access along the Nile River in spite of assurances and efforts by Government. Welcoming the recent pronouncements made by the leadership of the country towards addressing the situation, UNMISS and the members of the international community also recognise that this tenuous situation has the potential to hinder efforts towards the full implementation of the Revitalised Peace Agreement. In this context, UNMISS and the members of the international community continue to call on the national and local authorities to take immediate measures to demilitarise the area and ensure free movement through the Nile River that serves as a lifeline to many communities.
UNMISS and the members of the international community have pledged to continue coordinating with the Government and humanitarian partners to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in need. UNMISS and international partners will also sustain their engagement at all levels, to de-escalate tensions, and encourage national and local authorities to initiate constructive dialogue as the only pathway to durable peace and sustainable development.
Finally, the members of the international community requested CTSAMVM to investigate incidents of violence and urge the parties to the conflict to facilitate access.