Statement of the EU Delegation and EU Heads of Mission on Jonglei
The European Union Delegation issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in South Sudan:
"The EU Delegation is extremely concerned about reports of Lou Nuer mobilization and initial clashes with armed Murle youth in Jonglei. This could further exacerbate an already critical humanitarian situation and lead to an outright ethnic conflict with dramatic consequences.
The EU calls on leaders and politicians of both communities to do their utmost to prevent further violence and to defuse the tensions. The EU urges the Government of South Sudan to seek ways to resolve the conflict by dialogue. The EU also urges the Government of South Sudan to instruct the SPLA to strategically deploy its forces with a view to preventing or containing ethnic fighting, and to protect the civilian population in an even-handed manner.
The EU Delegation acknowledges the SPLA's initiative to investigate allegations of human rights violations and other crimes committed by some of its soldiers. The EU Delegation encourages the SPLA leadership to publish the results of these investigations as well as to take disciplinary and, where appropriate, legal action against the perpetrators.
The EU Delegation encourages UNMISS to rapidly undertake a thorough assessment mission to find out the whereabouts and condition of civilians who have left the population centres in southern Jonglei. UNMISS should also make every possible effort to obtain information about the presence and movements of armed groups and ethnic militias, as a basis for the implementation of its responsibility to protect civilians.
EU Heads of Mission plan to undertake an urgent mission to Jonglei in order to gain further information on the situation on the ground and to discuss with local authorities how the EU can assist in promoting reconciliation and mitigating the suffering of civilians affected by the fighting".