20 Sep 2018

 

SSHURSA Condemns Attack On UN Forces, Calls For Accountability And Respect For Inviolability Of UN

JUBA, 07 June 2018 [Gurtong]-The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy(SSHURSA) condemns in strongest terms the attack on the peacekeepers of the United Nations Mission In South Sudan(UNMISS).

UNMISS was attacked on 4 June 2018, in Rubkway, a few kilometres away from Leer County of South Sudan’s Western Upper Nile region. (UNMISS statement at: https://unmiss.unmissions.org/unmiss-strongly-condemns-attack-peacekeepers-south-sudan%E2%80%99s-unity-region), states; ‘a convoy consisting of peacekeepers and civilians came under fire when it stopped briefly to interact with a civilian in Rubkway, about 20 kilometers north of Leer town. The team was on a short patrol from the Mission’s Leer Temporary Operations Base to Thaker, in Mayendit County’.

Attacking UNMISS is utter disrespect not only to UNMISS but also to the entire United Nations(UN), of which South Sudan is a member. South Sudan signed the Status of Forces Agreement(SOFA, at: https://unmiss.unmissions.org/sites/default/files/old_dnn/UNMISS%20SOFA-signed.pdf) with UNMISS.

SOFA like UN Charter, calls for respect of UNMISS and inviolability of UN premises, property and personnel. Attacking UNMISS is a violation of SOFA and organised incitement against UNMISS. There is no any excuse by any group to attack(being South Sudan government forces or armed Opposition). UNMISS peacekeepers are not an enemy. They offer their services to the suffering South Sudanese.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.       Calls for full and speedy investigations, starting with who in control of Rubkway area as whichever party in control(government or armed opposition), ought to know who attacked UNMISS personnel.

2.       Urges UNMISS and parties to investigate and boldly publish a report for the public to know the attackers and such persons, through proper channels, must be held responsible.

3.       Calls on armed parties to respect the inviolability of UNMISS under SOFA and UN Charter.
If perpetrators of attacks on UNMISS are left free as has been repeatedly done in Malakal and Juba, impunity will continue unabated. The perpetrators will remain emboldened by the impunity. Attacking UNMISS and civilian vehicles and property, may constitute a war crime and any belligerent party must be conversant of the consequences of such a crime. This disrespectful behaviour on UNMISS must stop.

 

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