Juba, South Sudan,
June 18, 2021 – Armed community militias in Jonglei have killed at least 1,058 people in the space of eight months in 2020, a report attributed to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reveals.
According to the United Nations Security Council, the report on the multiple incidents of killing and abduction were documented in March this year.
“In March, UNMISS and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights published a joint report on armed violence by community-based militias against civilians in the greater Jonglei area occurring between January and August 2020,” it says.
The United Nations Security Council says the report unearths the military tricks and flicks used by the armed community-based militia groups to victimize perceived enemies.
“According to the report, these groups are well organized, use military-style tactics, and, in the span of eight months, were responsible for the killing and injuring of at least 1,058 persons from the Dinka, Nuer, and Murle communities,” it says.
The groups were also directly involved in the abduction of 686 women and children and were implicated in at least 39 confirmed cases of sexual violence.
It further says the prevalence of communal armed militias has been one of the root causes of subnational violence.
“The report underscored that incidents involving community-based militias had been the major source of violence affecting civilians since the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan,” it states.
The report says victims of the conflict perpetrated by militia groups were assisted by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to help reintegrate them into society.
“Following the report and subsequent peace dialogues in Jonglei, the Mission facilitated the release, family tracing, and reunification of 63 abductees – an important step in rebuilding trust and fostering peacebuilding. UNMISS provided transport for the returns between Pibor, Pochala, Pieri, and Juba.”
In January this year, a peace conference in Juba to end intercommunal clashes brought together the communities of Jonglei and Pibor Administrative Area and a peace deal was signed.
However, the deal was violated in less than a month after clashes resumed between armed youths in Jonglei and Pibor Administrative Area.
The UN report says attacks carried out by civil defense groups remained the primary source of violence affecting local populations.
Meanwhile, the report also earmarked Warrap and Lakes States as the most violent areas, accounting for 44 percent of the victims recorded throughout the country.