More civilian victims recorded in 2022 compared to 2021 – UN report
Violence against civilians in South Sudan rose by two per cent during 2022, according to the latest annual report on Violence Affecting Civilians from the UN peacekeeping mission (UNMISS).
The brief covering the period from January to December 2022, registered at least 3,469 civilian victims affected mostly by killing, injury, abduction, and conflict-related sexual violence.
The brief extended to Radio Tamazuj on Friday reveals that while the number of violent incidents attributed to the parties to the conflict declined by 37 per cent in comparison to 2021, the number of victims increased by 58 per cent (from 1,057 in 2021 to 1,674 in 2022).
“As for the violent incidents attributed to community-based militias and/or civil-defense groups, the number declined by 27 per cent (from 531 to 387) and the number of victims decreased by 28 per cent (from 2,279 to 1,642) in comparison to 2021,” UNMISS said.
2022 was marked by three distinct surges of violence: between April and May, in southern Unity State; between July and September, in Warrap State; and between August and December, in the Greater Upper Nile region.
Geographically, the UN mission said, 42 percent of South Sudanese who suffered from violent conflict were located in Upper Nile and Warrap states, while Jonglei, Unity, Eastern Equatoria and Central Equatoria states collectively accounted for approximately 50 percent of victims.
According to the brief, Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei and Warrap states were mostly affected by violence involving community-based militias and/or civil defense groups. It added that Upper Nile and Unity States, for their part, were impacted by parties to the conflict and their proxy elements and/or affiliated militia groups.
“Central Equatoria state suffered from both intercommunal violence in Juba and Terekeka counties, and by the parties to the conflict in Yei, Morobo, and Lainya,” UNMISS said.
"UNMISS calls on the Government of South Sudan to demonstrate political will and step up efforts against impunity, investigate human rights violations and abuses and hold perpetrators accountable, particularly as deadly violence remains an issue of grave concern in parts of the country," says Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS.
The UN Peacekeeping mission also urged all South Sudanese parties to focus on the prospects for sustainable peace, security, and peaceful, fair and inclusive elections.