Security Threat Looms as Defragmentation of NAS Poses Concern in Yei: United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) asks to assist

Security Threat Looms as Defragmentation of NAS Poses Concern in Yei: United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) asks to assist

Security Threat Looms as Defragmentation of NAS Poses Concern in Yei: United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) asks to assist

Security Threat Looms as Defragmentation of NAS Poses Concern in Yei: United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) asks to assist

Persistent violence by armed groups has been raised as the top concern for communities and local authorities in Yei and Lainya in the Central Equatoria region during a peace and security mission by representatives of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

During discussions about insecurity, the Commissioner of Yei, reported increasing abductions of ex-combatants and veterans in the area by armed groups seeking to swell their ranks.

“This is deeply concerning as it will increase violence in the county,” said the Commissioner, Aggrey Cyrus Kanyikwa.

Along with his fellow County Commissioner from Lainya, Mr. Kanyikwa expressed fears about the fragmentation of existing armed groups and the emergence of new forces that pose a threat to stability across the region. They appealed to UNMISS to support efforts by local authorities and security forces to address the issue and ensure that civilians are protected.

The situation is being further exacerbated by a surge in misinformation and disinformation spreading from South Sudan into neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, which is stoking fear of cross border violence and prompting Congolese communities to take up arms in self-defense in the belief of imminent attacks.

“The situation is very dire. We need UNMISS help to stop this misinformation campaign and prevent further violence. We urge the mission to use its influence to bring together all parties involved and find a peaceful solution,” said Mr. Kanyikwa.

The concerns about a rise in armed activity and recruitment of troops is deeply concerning given the history of violence and instability in the Central Equatorian region.

“As UNMISS, we have taken note of this situation and, through our good offices, we will work closely with authorities to engage with communities and the parties to prevent violence,” said the Head of UNMISS’ Juba Field Office, Njoki Rahab Kinyanjui.

The local authorities said it was imperative that international actors worked together to prevent further violence and instability and support efforts to find a peaceful solution.

“As a government, we shall continue to engage for peace. However, the United Nations and other partners need to step in and ensure that security concerns are addressed,” said Mr. Kanyikwa.

“We cannot afford any more violence and instability in our region. The people have suffered enough.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).