Local leaders, UNMISS visit Akobo County

14 Feb 2013

Local leaders, UNMISS visit Akobo County

13 February 2013 - To stop the cycle of violence in Jonglei State, perpetrators must be held accountable, Akobo County Commissioner Goi Jooyu Youl said today in Walgak.

"We call on the UN ... and the government to push for accountability. We do not want one person to die and then in the next five days, we act like nothing happened," said Mr. Youl, who was visiting the area following an attack on residents by armed forces violence on 8 February.

The violence left more than 100 people dead, children abducted, families displaced and cattle raided.

"People have to be prosecuted... If (it is) the rebel movement, the army has to do its utmost best to follow them," the commissioner said. "What is needed this time is to talk to the other part of the cycle (attackers) and to disarm that cycle..."

A team from UNMISS, also in the area to assess the security and humanitarian situation, met with local leaders to investigate, obtain accurate information, assess the needs of the affected population and determine what was required by South Sudanese authorities to address the situation.

As part of its mandated role in the country, UNMISS investigates allegations of human rights abuses and supports efforts to protect civilians.

Mr. Youl noted that the attacked people had moved to Walgak to look for food.

"We are working very hard to make sure that the ... remaining population who are trying to move the cattle camps ... (are) escorted and (given) security," said Mr. Youl.

"We are still very worried about the whereabouts of some children and families, but there is some hope when we hear that a few people are showing up," he said, adding that the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) had also been able to recover a yet unknown number of the raided cattle.