UNMISS urges Malakal PoC Community Leaders to address root causes of violence
Juba, 11 June 2023: The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) expresses deep regret for the loss of life and offers condolences to the affected families in the Malakal UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) site. It urges community leaders to continue to cooperate with all stakeholders to address both the triggers and the root causes of this violence.
Following deadly conflict between two communities at the PoC Site on 8 June, the Mission has restored security and order by increasing the presence of peacekeepers among the affected civilians, even as the situation remains volatile. UNMISS commends the Government of Upper Nile State and the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF) for their close collaboration in restoring calm, ensuring security, and protecting civilians displaced outside the site.
The Mission is facilitating the work of humanitarian workers who are providing emergency assistance, such as clean drinking water and non-food items to thousands of people displaced into Malakal town. It is also assisting with dignified funerals for those that have lost lives while working with the Government to ensure that those that have left the PoC site are provided with adequate resources to survive in Malakal town.
The Mission is urging national and community leaders to discourage the smuggling of arms into the site. Leaders should also exert efforts towards preventing revenge killings and hateful narratives. UNMISS is also engaged in consultations with community leaders, state authorities, and other officials and has been taking steps to prevent the infiltration of arms into the PoC site. However, these measures can only be successful with the effective cooperation of the communities.
In collaboration with the Government and various leaders, UNMISS is exploring additional measures to be taken, to ensure the security and well-being of the affected communities. The United Nations does not promote the separation of communities, nor does it advocate for any group to leave the PoC site.
With the influx of returnees from the conflict in neighbouring Sudan, the Mission and UN agencies have worked tirelessly with all stakeholders to mitigate the emerging tensions in the site, resulting from severe congestion, increased competition for resources, and rising inter-communal clashes as we warned in our last statement.
Community leaders continue to play an important role in promoting peaceful co-existence and social cohesion in the PoC site. UNMISS will continue discussions with community leaders as well as state and national authorities, for the management of the PoC site.