Over three-quarters of South Sudan engulfed by extreme violent attacks: UN investigators

Yasmin Sooka says South Sudan has seen “a massive escalation in violence” locally despite the signing of the Revitalized Peace Agreement two years ago. /VCG

More than three-quarters of South Sudan has been engulfed by extreme violent attacks involving thousands of fighters at a time, UN human Rights Council-appointed investigators said on Friday, warning that the bloodshed faced by civilians are “the worst recorded” since the country’s civil war began in December 2013.

Yasmin Sooka, Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights in the country noted that although the signing of the Revitalized Peace Agreement two years ago had “led to a reduction in hostilities at the national level”, the country has seen “a massive escalation in violence” locally.

Commission member Barney Afako noted that the cessation of hostilities had left “a vacuum” at the community level.

“There are no governors in place or no county commissioners in place. So, there is nobody to deal with those cleavages which had remained. Instead, what we saw, was that the weaponry that have been left in the community as well as that which is now supplied by others fueled this communal violence”, UN quotes Afako.

In its latest report, the Commission describes “waves of attacks and reprisals” that have left hundreds of South Sudanese women, men and children dead, maimed or destitute in Jonglei State and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.

The Commission chairperson noted that guns are easily accessible to locals and even children.

The Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan is due to present its report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 10 March.

(With input from UN)