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UNMISS can even classify arguments as ‘violence’-Information minister

By William Madouk

South Sudan’s Minister of Information has accused the United Nations Mission in South Sudan of having an ulterior motive in their just-released human rights report for sidling the government.

Minister Michael Makuei, who is also government spokesperson, alleged that the report was formulated by people earning a living narrating negative tales, citing that UNMISS can call a quarrel, violence.

“These are people who write reports because if they don’t write them, they will not be kept, so they must write something so that they are seen to be working,” Makuei said after the council of ministries’ meeting on Friday.

“Even when you quarrel with any person, the [UNMISS] will say this is violence, but this is a fight between two people,” he adds.

He claimed that UNMISS might have ulterior motives or that they should have consulted the government before the report was published.

“They are supposed to write to us before even releasing the report, but because they have their own interests that they want to cover, they must write it and come back to us from there,” he argued.

Makuei was reacting to the quarterly UNMISS report on human rights released on Friday, which revealed persistent violence against civilians.

The report alleged that 920 incidents of violence against civilians, including 243 children, have been documented.

It also said 405 civilians have been killed, 235 injured, 266 abducted, and 14 have been subjected to conflict-related sexual violence.

“Intercommunal violence by community-based militias and/or civil-defense groups constituted the primary source of violence affecting civilians and accounted for more than 92 percent (847) of all civilian victims,” partly reads the UNMISS report.

According to the report, much of the violence was generated and documented in Jonglei State and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) in the conflict that erupted at the beginning of the year.

Warrap, Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, and Lakes states followed respectively in the violence report of the country.

“Compared to the same reporting period in 2022, these findings show a 12 percent increase in violent incidents against civilians and a 113 percent increase in abductions (from 125 to 266),” it adds.

But the report also noted that there is a decrease of 78 percent in conflict-related sexual violence (from 63 to 14).

“I condemn these incidents, which occur without any due process,” says Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in South Sudan.

“The government has previously denounced this practice, and, following our engagements, the Minister of Justice has agreed to investigate these allegations,” he added.


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