US embassy urges gov’t to de-escalate intercommunal tensions

Photo: The US Ambassador to South Sudan Thomas Hushek speaks during a press conference at the US embassy in Juba, South Sudan, on December 19, 2019 |Credit | PETER LOUIS/AFP via Getty Images.

June 10, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – The United States embassy in Juba has urged the government of South Sudan to work to de-escalate tensions caused by the increasing intercommunal violence in several parts of the country.

South Sudan in recent months has seen sharp increase in intercommunal violence in both Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile regions.

Fighting between Lou-Nuer and the Murle last month left hundreds of people dead while many were also killed in cross-border cattle raids between Unity state and the country’s Warrap state.

In a statement this afternoon, the US embassy in Juba said it was concerned by the ongoing intercommunal violence in the country and urged the government of president Salva Kiir to take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions between ethnic communities.

“The Embassy of the United States of America is deeply concerned by the high level of violence that has plagued communities across South Sudan in recent months. If unaddressed, heightened violence risks the achievements of the peace agreement,” the statement seen by Nyamilepedia partly reads.

“In recent days, we have seen a series of concerning reports regarding mobilization by armed combatants among multiple communities in Jonglei state, risking a continuation of the series of revenge attacks that has led to hundreds of casualties and the forced displacement and abduction of civilians. We call on national and local leaders to urgently seek de-escalation and dialogue; these efforts must also reach affected communities,” the statement added.

“Many other communities across South Sudan have recently suffered from armed group fighting. While we recognize that grievances among communities and other motivations may exist, we are deeply concerned by reports of the involvement of uniformed combatants and the reported use of weapons such as machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades in some instances,” the statement further stressed.

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