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Civilians On the Run as Violence Surges in South Sudan

Juba, 6th 12/2016 – The Civil population both in Central Equatoria and Wau has been displaced as new wave of fighting characterized by sexual violence, pillaging, ethnic targeting rages on. Equatoria areas and Former Western Bhar El Ghazal state experienced heavy hands of the violence.

 South SudaneseDisplaced South Sudanese: photo source: AP

The United States Department has said it is alarmed by the heavy surge of violence in Equatoria areas.  The fighting is portrayed by all sort of inhumane acts against South Sudan civil population. Yei River state reports attacked against civilians, with reports of sexual violence, pillaging and killing of civilians allegedly by the national army, SPLA. A Minister of Finance, Deputy Governor, and a commissioner in Yei River State resigned because of what they term as “targeting of the civilians by a militiamen” siding with the government.

In October 2016, vehicles carrying Jieng (Dinka) ethnic community was targeted leaving nearly hundred of women and children killed. Report blames IO forces in Equatoria.

 

The above situation is worrying the US administration. “The United States is alarmed by the violence in the Equatoria region of South Sudan and concerned it could quickly spiral out of control”, read part of the press release.

 

UN Undersecretary for Genocide Prevention in November raised alarm of escalating violence in Yei and other parts of the country as having potential of triggering genocide. The report came after the UN’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide visited South Sudan. The UN official also told the media that “conflict has transformed into what could become an outright ethnic war” and that it “could evolve into genocide if something is not done now to stop it.”

 

Adding, “This situation is intolerable and will worsen the already dire humanitarian crisis,” partly read the Washington press release.

 

Washington called on the international community in a statement to the media on Monday to take actions against the warring parties. “The international community must also do its part. We can do so by imposing an arms embargo to end the parties’ ability to acquire and maintain weapons, especially heavy weapons, military vehicles, and aircraft, reads in part the press release.

 

The US administration believes imposing these measures will help deter the belligerent parties of South Sudan from engaging in the activities such as targeting civilians and destruction of livelihood.

 “We should also impose targeted sanctions on those who seek through incitement and violence to turn their country into a graveyard. Imposing these measures will help deter other South Sudanese leaders from engaging in the same activity”.

 


The social media and online network in South Sudan may be having a hand in what the US terms as “Ethnic-motivated hate speech”. The trend is likely to further fuel violence on ethnic line.

 

“Ethnically-motivated hate speech, the targeting of civilians, and sexual violence is becoming widespread. We have confirmed that more than 1900 homes have been destroyed in Central Equatoria since September. The government has mobilized at least 4,000 irregular ethnic militia and deployed them to Central Equatoria - a substantial increase in the overall number of government-affiliated soldiers in the region - increasing the likelihood of more clashes with armed opposition groups and attacks against innocent civilians”, it reads in part State Department press release.

 

The US government says the world can’t afford to look the other while crimes are being committed against civil population in South Sudan.

“We cannot turn a blind eye to these crimes, and must ensure that all those who order, incite or commit violence against civilians are held accountable, including through rapid creation of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan,” read the statement.  

 

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