South Sudan: United Nations (UN) Human Rights Chief urges end to violence in Upper Nile State

South Sudan: United Nations (UN) Human Rights Chief urges end to violence in Upper Nile State

South Sudan: United Nations (UN) Human Rights Chief urges end to violence in Upper Nile State

South Sudan: United Nations (UN) Human Rights Chief urges end to violence in Upper Nile State

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said today he was appalled by attacks against civilians by armed elements amid a surge in violence in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State and urged authorities and community leaders to act urgently to end the bloodshed.

At least 166 civilians have been killed and 237 injured in the last four months as clashes have intensified between armed elements, and between rival community-based militias in the region. Over 20,000 people have been displaced due to the violence since August.

Reports indicate random shooting of civilians.

“These killings, along with reports of gender-based violence, abductions, destruction of property and looting, are severe human rights violations and abuses and must stop,” said Türk.

“It is important that the Government of South Sudan conducts a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the violence and brings all those responsible to account in accordance with international law,” the UN Human Rights Chief added.

Civilians have been subjected to forced displacement by the threat of violence, and the increased insecurity has slowed the delivery of urgent, life-saving humanitarian support.

“I urge those perpetuating this senseless violence to lay down their weapons and to engage in dialogue to address any grievance peacefully.” 

Türk expressed serious concerns that the violence risked spreading beyond the region and urged the authorities to act swiftly to de-escalate the tension and to provide protection to the affected communities. He also called on community leaders and elders to use their influence over the groups involved in the violence to end the bloodshed.  

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).