Panafrican News Agency

South Sudanese army clashes with armed groups in Unity State

Juba, South Sudan (PANA) - Fighting has escalated between the South Sudanese military and armed groups in Unity State, the UN Mission in South Sudan warned on Friday.

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) appealed to national and local leaders and armed groups to immediately stop the violence in Unity State.

The fighting began in Mirmir Payam, Unity State, between the Sudan People's Liberation Army in Opposition and armed youths.

It has spread to several villages in Koch, Mayiandit and Leer, according to UNMISS.

Over the past two weeks, civilians have been killed, injured and forced to flee their homes, UNMISS said.

Civilian property was destroyed and humanitarian supplies looted. Between 22-23 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," said the UN body.

The mission urged 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.

-0- PANA AO/VAO 25Feb2022