from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – VIOLENCE against civilians in South Sudan has decreased significantly over the past year but remains excessively high.
According to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country (UNMISS), from July to September 2021, overall violence against civilians decreased by 37 percent.
This with 801 civilians killed, injured, abducted or subjected to conflict-related sexual violence.
This is compared to 1 271 in the same period last year.
The reduction is largely due to a decline in conflict in Jonglei and the neighbouring Greater Pibor Administrative Area.
Most of the violent incidents during this period (92 percent) were concentrated geographically in just 54 of the country’s 510 payams (administrative areas), most notably in the Equatorias and Warrap.
The UNMISS Human Rights Division’s quarterly brief documented a surge of violence in Tambura, Western Equatoria, between Azande and Balanda militias, allegedly affiliated with conventional parties to the conflict nationally.
According to UNMISS preliminary findings, this resulted in 240 deaths, 46 abductions, 59 victims subjected to sexual violence and an estimated 80 000 people displaced.
“This is a serious and concerning development amidst an overall decline in such violence,” a spokesperson said.
Most victims were men (69 percent), followed by women (17 percent) and children (14 percent).
Almost 79 percent of male victims were killed or injured while women were more likely to suffer from sexual violence (47 percent).
Children were primarily killed (54 percent) or abducted (39 percent) while at least eight girls were the victims of sexual violence.
South Sudan, the world’s newest country, attained independence in 2011 but plunged into civil war two years later.
A peace deal in 2020 formed a national unity government.
– CAJ News