For Immediate Release February 19, 2016,
Feb 19, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– We, the Heads of Mission of the United States, United Kingdom, and Norway (Troika), condemn in the strongest terms the violence that occurred at the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) protection of civilians (PoC) site in Malakal. We are outraged by the senseless deaths and injuries to civilians sheltering in the UN compound, and by the death of two South Sudanese humanitarians working for Médecins Sans Frontières. These actions increase the number of humanitarians killed in South Sudan since December 2013 to an estimated 47 individuals.
We are particularly concerned by credible reports of the role the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) forces stationed outside the UNMISS camp played in escalating and contributing to the violence. We call on the Government of South Sudan to immediately conduct an investigation of this violence to identify those responsible, including SPLA forces, in order to bring perpetrators to justice and prevent similar incidents anywhere in South Sudan. We also call for unhindered access for UNMISS and the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism to conduct their own independent investigation of the incident.
We unequivocally state our support for UNMISS and humanitarians in their mission to assist the people of South Sudan, and stress the inviolability of UNMISS facilities and personnel, all humanitarian actors and of those engaging the UN for services or protection.
The tragic events in Malakal demonstrate the destabilizing impact of the issuance of the 28 states decree without local consultation, which has stoked community tensions over fears of a loss of land rights. We call on President Salva Kiir Mayardit to abide by the IGAD Council of Ministers Communique of 31 January 2016 and suspend further implementation of the decree until review by an inclusive, participatory boundary commission.
The lives lost in this senseless incident underscore the need to implement all aspects of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, including urgently implementing the needed security arrangements for Juba and forming the Transitional Government of National Unity per the terms of the agreement.
As the Troika continues to engage with South Sudanese parties to implement terms of the August 2015 Peace Agreement, we use this occasion to call for calm and restraint from all parties, including the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, the SPLM-IO forces near Malakal and elsewhere. At this moment, we urge all parties not to fall into the deadly trap of retributive violence, but rather recommit to full and speedy implementation of the August 2015 agreement.