UNMISS chief urges Jonglei communities to end cycle of violence

20 Feb 2013

UNMISS chief urges Jonglei communities to end cycle of violence

19 February 2013 - On a two-day mission to Jonglei, the United Nations chief in South Sudan, Hilde F. Johnson, urged the different communities today to end the cycle of violence in the state.

The visit took place in the aftermath of the recent cattle raid and attack on civilians in the Walgak area, Akobo County, which left dozens of civilians dead.

"The main purpose of my visit today is to (meet) the people and express my most sincere condolences to those who have lost their loved ones," she said after meeting with Jonglei State Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk in the state capital Bor.

Mr. Juuk said his government would do its best to prevent further attacks in future.
In Walgak, Ms. Johnson met with County Commissioner Goi Jooyu Youl and other local officials, as well as wounded victims of the violence and community members. She encouraged residents to contain their anger and frustration and give peace a chance.

Ms. Johnson described the attack as "very serious", stating that it threatened stability in Jonglei.

"We are very worried about this," she said. "(It) needs significant efforts from the government and community leaders to now ensure stability. We clearly would like to see stability in Jonglei state and one of the ... key issues is what the mission can do under the current circumstances so that the cycle of violence ends."

Ms. Johnson informed local officials that a humanitarian needs assessment had been completed and assistance would be delivered to about 10,000 people in a few days.

The SRSG, who is accompanied by other senior UNMISS officials including Force Commander Maj. Gen. Delali Johnson Sakyi, will travel to Pibor County on 20 February. She is expected to hold discussions with the county commissioner, traditional chiefs and communities on ways to counter cattle raiding and other insecurity.