S. Sudan: US urges “urgent” de-escalation of tensions
August 3, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – The United States Embassy in South Sudan has called on the parties to the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) as well as holdout opposition groups and ethnic militias to de-escalate unfolding tensions in several parts of the country.
The United States statement came almost two weeks after clashes erupted in Western Bahr el Ghazal state between the SPLA-IO and the SSPDF which led to the arrest of a senior SPLA-IO officer and arrest of civilians.
“The Embassy of the United States expresses deep concern with continued pockets of conflict around South Sudan and calls for all parties to deescalate tensions. Fighting in different parts of South Sudan in recent weeks has reflected different causes and involved different parties but the impact is all similarly unacceptable; the people of South Sudan, your friends, your neighbors and communities are all suffering abuses against civilian populations,” the US said in the statement seen by Nyamilepedia.
“Forced displacement, disruption to livelihoods, diversion and looting of humanitarian aid, and the killing of aid workers are all unacceptable. It is time for local and regional leaders and the government of South Sudan to put an end to these conflicts and start unifying the country and bringing well-deserved peace to the people of South Sudan,” it added.
“In Western Bahr el Ghazal, we are concerned by recent clashes between Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition and South Sudan People’s Defense Forces units, accompanied by the arbitrary detention of civilians and attacks on civilian vehicles. We welcome the establishment of a delegation with leaders from both sides and urge immediate dialogue to reduce tensions, forestall further clashes, and prevent a broader threat to the peace agreement ceasefire.
“In Western and Central Equatoria, we note an uptick in clashes between SSPDF and the National Salvation Front in the past week, accompanied by displacement of civilians and civilian abductions. We urge all parties to immediately adhere to the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities, comply with their Rome Resolution obligations, and resume dialogue on a political solution to the conflict.
“In Jonglei, we remain deeply concerned by the large-scale mobilization of armed groups and fighting on an ethnic basis. We welcome all efforts to address the base causes of the recent violence in South Sudan but it is going to take more work.
“It is going to be hard, but now is the time for all the people who took or accepted the responsibility to lead this country, to work towards a nation of unity where everybody has a right to speak in public without fear of repercussion, where everyone has a right to education, where everybody has a right to live in their home of choice without fear of violence. The leaders of South Sudan cannot sit back and wait for things to happen; they need to make them happen.”