UNMISS Statement on Escalating Violence in Unity State and Appeals for Calm
Juba, 25 February 2021: The United Nations Mission in South Sudan is appealing to national and local leaders, and armed groups to immediately stop the violence in Unity State.
Fighting that began in Mirmir Payam, Unity State, between the Sudan People's Liberation Army in Opposition and armed youths has spread to several villages in Koch, Mayiandit and Leer. Over the past two weeks, civilians have been killed, injured and forced to flee their homes. Civilian property was destroyed, and humanitarian supplies looted. Between 22 and 23 February, local health facilities in Leer town reported nine women raped.
UNMISS strongly condemns the violence at a time when humanitarian needs are rising, and people are already reeling from the worst flooding in decades. The Mission urges national and local authorities to take immediate measures to reduce tensions and to prevent further escalation of the situation.
The Mission will ramp up its patrols, continue to work with all stakeholders at the state and national level including local authorities and communities to encourage dialogue and reduce tensions and insecurity. Furthermore, the Mission plans to conduct missions to the affected areas to assess the situation and document allegations of violations and abuses and calls on authorities to carry out timely investigations. The Mission encourages the Government to hold those responsible for instigating and participating in the violence accountable.