June 25, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s organized forces – the army, National Security Service, police – are joining the ongoing intercommunal violence in different parts of the country, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has said.
This comes as parties agreed to the allocation of states which has – the past – been blamed by the world mission and members of the Troika, for the alarming ethnic violence which has seen surge in the world’s youngest country in recent months.
Briefing the United Nations Security Council this week, the Special Representative for the Secretary-General and head of UN mission in South Sudan David Shearer said the ongoing violence in the country – mostly in Greater Jonglei – cannot be categorized as intercommunal violence because, according to reports the UN has received, members of the organized forces were joining the conflict.
“The political impasse, on top of the COVID lockdown, has caused the conflict to escalate with violent incidents multiplying fourfold in two years,” Shearer told the UNSC via a video conference briefing.
“This violence can no longer be pigeonholed as ‘intercommunal’. Fighters in uniform have been spotted suggesting that organized forces may be joining the conflict which risks unraveling the ceasefire,” he added.
Shearer who has always called on the parties to form state governments which has been prevented by a deadlock over who takes what state, but which has been so far been resolved, has urged the parties to form inclusive state governments in which all ethnic groups are represented.
“A unity government, by definition, takes decisions collaboratively – whether as a presidency or cabinet. This way of working needs to become a habit, not an exception,” he said.
“A unity government acts in the best interests of all its people regardless of ethnic identity and should act collectively and swiftly to curtail conflict in the states,” shearer stressed.
“But the real threat to the people of South Sudan lies in the collapse of the already fragile health system. This could result in many, many more lives being lost – a tragedy that can be prevented,” he added.