South Sudanese Peace Ambassador statement on Malakal incident

For immediate release:
Thursday February 18, 2016

February 18, 2016 (SSNA) — I’m very disturbed to hear the atrocities committed in the United Nation Mission in South Sudan’s Protection of Civilian (POC) – Malakal, South Sudan on the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs). I strongly condemn the brutal killing of innocents Internal Displaced persons who have been settling in the UN Camp. The occurrence that killed people within the UN Camp is an act of brutality and UNMISS should be blamed for not doing enough to protect the civilians.

How did the gunmen enter to the Protection of Civilian (POC) camp? It was confirmed that the first incident that took place yesterday evening that killed five (5) and seriously wounded thirty-eight (38) people was controlled by the UNMISS. This would have given clear indication or early warning for further looming attack. It should also give chance to the UNMISS to get ready and be on standby, but why they relax? Today, on Thursday February 18, 2016 the same people who killed IDPs come back and killed countless numbers of IDPs. This is very painful!

While we are busy with peace implementation, I though UNMISS should automatically help with protecting the civilians who are stationing in its camps around South Sudan. This is the second times for the IDPs to be killed in front of UNMISS. It happened in Bor, Jonglie State when armed youths from Bor Community stormed into UN Camp and killed IDPs on 17 April 2014. Yet the UNMISS was not on the maximum alert. The provision of foods, shelters and clean water by UN without security is nothing and it totally amount to no protection either. UN must try her best to protect and promote justice through providing security because satisfying IDPs with foods; shelters and clean water without security must be considered as tying someone’s head to the hell.

In my position as Peace Ambassador, I’m deeply disappointed for the incident and urge the government of South Sudan to respect and treat civilians as its citizens and avoid ethnic based preference. South Sudan would peacefully grow and develop if the leaders stop ethnic preference, discrimination and politics of ethnicity. Moreover, I urge the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) and other partners to strictly monitor the daily events that affect civilians especially the IDPs. I also appeal to the UN Secretary General to perfectly oversee the UNMISS operation in South Sudan whether it’s there for the real task. Finally, I urge the warring factions to stick on the peace agreement and independently convince their forces not to violate the agreement.

Peace Ambassador Gatwech Koak Nyuon
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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