Home | News    Tuesday 23 June 2020

UNMISS chief calls to appoint South Sudan’s governors to curb bloody violence

June 23, 2020 (JUBA) - The UN Secretary-General representative in South Sudan has called to appoint the state governor to resolve the inter-communal violence across the country.

David Shearer made his call in a videoconference briefing to the UN Security Council

David Shearer UNMISS head briefs the Security Council on 26 September 2017 (UN photo)

about the coronavirus impact and bloody attacks which could unravel the ceasefire.

In his briefing, Shearer pointed out to the positive steps that had been taken in the implementation of the peace agreement, including the formation of the unity government and joint cabinet, the appointment of vice-presidents, and end of a stand-off over the allocation of states.

He further urged to appoint the state governors to fill a power vacuum and help resolve escalating conflict in areas like Jonglei where hundreds of civilians have been killed and 60,000 displaced.

“The political impasse, on top of the COVID lockdown, has caused the conflict to escalate with violent incidents multiplying fourfold in two years,” said David Shearer.

“This violence can no longer be pigeonholed as “intercommunal”. Fighters in uniform have been spotted suggesting that organized forces may be joining the conflict which risks unravelling the ceasefire,” he stressed.

Different reports spoke about mobilisations among SSPDF and the SPLM-Io to fight Murle gunmen in Jonglei state.

Also, Shearer said the peace process is “faltering” and called to build a sense of togetherness among the members of the national unity government.

“A unity government, by definition, takes decisions collaboratively – whether as a presidency or cabinet. This way of working needs to become a habit, not an exception,” he said.

“A unity government acts in the best interests of all its people regardless of ethnic identity and should act collectively and swiftly to curtail conflict in the states.”

Speaking about the coronavirus, he said up to now 1916 cases and 35 deaths have been recorded, adding that the “limited testing and social stigma is obscuring the true magnitude of the virus”.

He said the threat of the COVID-19 is read in South Sudan.

“But the real threat to the people of South Sudan lies in the collapse of the already fragile health system. This could result in many, many more lives being lost – a tragedy that can be prevented.”

He said that UNMISS UNMISS renovated and equipped hospitals in the 10 states to enable it to treat coronavirus patients, also he mentioned the government and international community efforts in this respect.

“We are doing what we can to give limited care to critical patients who previously had nothing. More importantly, these measures are designed to reduce the risk of COVID transmission to other facilities which are treating common but lethal illnesses,” said Shearer.