from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – THERE is serious concern over the reported buildup of forces loyal to a rebel leader in South Sudan.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) expressed worry over the actions by the militants aligned to General Johnson Olony.
These tensions are building up in the Upper Nile state in the north.
UNMISS urged the forces to refrain from any actions or movements that might pose threats to civilians and affect humanitarian operations in the region and Northern Jonglei.
UNMISS peacekeepers are increasing their presence in the area, and the mission is verifying reports of movements and mobilisation.
“The Mission continues to engage with Government, State officials and other leaders to prevent any further escalation of tensions, following fierce fighting that began last November,” the UN mission stated.
UNMISS appealed to national and community leaders to exercise restraint and commit to peace and dialogue, with the historic visit of Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland to South Sudan.
The world’s newest country spilled into civil war in 2013, two years after independence.
About 400 000 people are estimated to have been killed in the war,
Rebel groups have regularly flouted a peace pact signed with the government.
In 2020, rivals Salva Kiir Mayardit and Riek Machar agreed to a peace deal.
Mayardit is president and Machar his first deputy.
– CAJ News