Hilde Johnson briefing the press in Juba at a past event.[Gurtong| File]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 01 September 2012 [Gurtong] - A statement from UNMISS says that’s it will work with the civilian authorities and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) to help reduce tensions and protect civilians.
UNMISS is increasingly concerned by recent violence in Jonglei state that threatens the important gains made this year in restoring peace and security.
UNMISS is particularly concerned by the apparent emergence in Jonglei of an armed insurgency group linked to the militia leader David Yau Yau, which is believed to be acting in concert with groups of armed youths who have evaded the civilian disarmament operation in the state.
The statement says that it is essential to preserve the gains achieved over recent months in the improved security situation in Jonglei and ensure the civilian disarmament process goes forward as a key element of the peace effort.
About 24 members of the South Sudanese armed forces were killed on 23 August in an attack near the town of Likuangole by assailants said to be loyal to David Yau Yau and allegedly supported by armed youth.
Further attacks have occurred and civilians displaced from Likuangole town. The two most recent reported attacks took place 27 and 30 August in Likuangole when unknown attackers twice fired at the South Sudanese Army (SPLA), with the army responding and repelling the assailants. No casualties were reported.
UNMISS said that in order to promote lasting peace and stability in Jonglei, the unfolding security incidents must not be allowed to escalate and derail the peace process or undermine the improved security environment in the state.
“It is also important to avoid a situation where the civil administration is disrupted the civilian disarmament process aborted,” says the statement adding that “UNMISS is doing its utmost together with partners to contribute to the return of all civilians, who last week fled Likuangole to neighbouring villages.”
UNMISS has the South Sudanese authorities to take all necessary measures in order for the displaced population to safely return to their homes. UNMISS is backing a series of confidence-building measures led by Jonglei state and assisting the overall Jonglei peace process.