South Sudan NEWS PORTAL
The UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan has accused some political leaders of supplying weapons to cattle herders for committing crimes.
This week, the UNMISS Human Rights Department said in a report that the overall number of civilian casualties attributed to parties to the conflict has declined since the signing of the revitalized peace agreement in September 2018.
However, inter-communal violence has surged, causing pains to at least 1,767 civilians who were either killed, injured, abducted, or suffered sexual violence between January and March this year – the majority arising from inter-communal violence.
Yet between the same period last year, only 912 civilian victims suffered different forms of violence.
The chairperson of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, Yasmin Sooka, believes that cattle raiding and inter-communal violence have been politicized.
“It’s really linked to politics, politicians supplying heavy artillery and weapons to ordinary cattle headers,” said Ms Sooka during a Rethinking Covid-19 Response in South Sudan webinar hosted by Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa.
However, she did not name the politicians that have politicized the ethnic conflicts in the country.
There have been growing cattle raid-related incidents in greater Jonglei, Warrap and Lakes states.
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Some community leaders accused some Juba politicians of being behind deadly clashes in Akobo, claims the UN official supported.
“These are no longer ordinary raids and in the clashes, that took place in eastern Jonglei, including Bieh [of which] 287 people lost their lives and more than 300 people wounded,” she continued.
Ms Sooka believes such violence has led to the acute food crisis in the affected areas.
“To be very frank, it’s leading to an acute food crisis as allegations found that WFP is being prevented from delivering food to that area,” she added.
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