The United Nations (UN) on Tuesday called for an immediate cessation of hostilities amid fighting among armed groups in Fashoda County in Upper Nile State of South Sudan.
Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), urged all leaders — political, civic, religious, or traditional — to end hostilities and restore security among the affected communities.
“UNMISS is calling on armed groups to respect the freedom of movement on the Nile River and its tributaries, straddling the states of Upper Nile and Jonglei,” Haysom said in a statement issued in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
He said the clashes have resulted in the loss of a significant number of lives, women being abducted, and more than 8,000 people being displaced from Kodok Town and nearby locations.
Haysom, who condemned the ongoing clashes, said humanitarian efforts are being hampered by prevailing insecurity.
He said the UNMISS is providing security and doing its utmost to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons making their way to the peacekeeping mission’s Kodok Company Operating Base.
“UNMISS continues to engage with relevant stakeholders to reach an agreement that would enable UN peacekeepers to embark on riverine patrols to diffuse tensions and help end the fighting,” Haysom added.
Earlier, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said renewed fighting was reported between armed factions in several locations, including Padit in Kodok Payam, Fashoda County in Upper Nile State between October 6 and 9. A payam is the second-lowest administrative division below county in South Sudan.
“In Padit, the entire population of the village was reported displaced, and the village burnt down, details on civilian casualties are not yet available,” OCHA said in its latest report released in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
OCHA explained that the White Army youth reportedly attacked Nyigier, a village located a few km from Kodok town, and as attacks advanced towards Fashoda County, tensions increased with reports indicating that the youth mobilised to protect Kodok town. -Xinhua