June 17, 2021 (NEW YORK) – At least 444 people killed have been killed and 178 injured in violence-related incidences in South Sudan between February 1 and May 31 2021, the United Nations said.
These latest figures are contained in a report compiled by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on the humanitarian and human rights situation and progress towards implementing its mandate.
Among this killed, according to the report to the Secretary-General, were at least 54 women and 41 children.
“Of these, 152 were attributed to civil defence groups; 13 to the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces; 13 to NAS; 5 to SPLM/A-IO; 1 to the South Sudan National Police Service; 1 to a wildlife officer; 1 jointly to SPLM/A-IO and the South Sudan National Police Service; 1 jointly to the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces and the South Sudan National Police Service; 1 to the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces protection force in a governor’s convoy; 1 as a result of clashes between NAS and the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces; and 1 as a result of clashes between SPLM/A-IO and armed elements (Mabanese soldiers),” it observed.
UNMISS said it documented 206 incidents that negatively affected the human rights and protection situation, including arbitrary killings, abductions, conflict-related sexual violence, arbitrary arrests and detention, torture and ill-treatment, forced military recruitment and the looting and destruction of civilian property.
Nine extrajudicial executions, causing 20 deaths allegedly occurred in South Sudan’ Warrap state on orders of a senior government official.
“Attacks carried out by civil defence groups remained the primary source of violence affecting local populations. Warrap and Lakes were the most violent areas, accounting for 44 per cent of the victims recorded throughout the country,” the report noted.
It further said incidents involving South Sudan People’s Defence Forces, SPLM/A-IO Riek Machar forces and NAS were mainly documented in Greater Equatoria, particularly Yei River County.
The report recommended that the parties in South Sudan should urgently reach an agreement on the duration of the transition period and the date for elections at its conclusion.
“The holding of free, fair and peaceful elections in accordance with the Revitalized Agreement is essential for sustaining peace and building support for development,” it stressed.
Last month, the UN Security Council approved a resolution extending an arms embargo and sanctions against South Sudan for one year. However, the South Sudanese government said the arms embargo will hamper the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.
According to a Gun Policy report, the estimated total number of guns held by civilians in South Sudan was 1.2 million in 2017 and 3 million in 2013.