National, News

Troika urges heightened security in Malakal

By William Madouk

Troika countries are calling on the government to urgently deploy Unified Forces to protect Malakal town in Upper Nile State after alleged continued mobilization among armed groups.

The plea followed clashes between two ethnic communities in Malakal Protection of Civilian (PoC) camp, who brutally got involved in a dogfights and emanating rumors of armed youth mobilization.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) reported early this month that the death toll has increased from three to seventeen after the victims who were admitted to a local hospital succumbed to their wounds.

The Embassies of Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States, in a joint statement expressed grave concern over the continued mobilization of armed groups, causing threats to people’s lives.

“The Troika is gravely concerned by continued reports of mobilization of armed groups in Upper Nile State, including threats to those living in Malakal Protection of Civilians (POC) site,” the report reads.

“We urge those in a position of influence to engage immediately in support of peace and security, and we call for those responsible for encouraging violence to be held accountable,” it added.

The three western countries said such reports should not be taken lightly by the government and that unified forces should be deployed to protect civilian lives in restive Upper Nile State.

“Reports of this kind further underscore the urgency of deploying the Necessary Unified Forces (the NUF), consistent with commitments in the 2018 revitalized peace agreement,” the Troika said.

In the statement, the Troika noted, “Those who obstruct progress toward this objective are placing the interests of the South Sudanese people at risk.”

Early this month, Vice President of the Economic Cluster, Dr. James Wani Igga, urged the leaders of Upper Nile State to stop the inter-communal conflict in Malakal Protection of Civilian sites (PoCs).

He made the appeal after meeting the community leaders from the five tribes in the State in Malakal.

Wani urged the communities to forget the ethnic disputes and channel their energy to peacebuilding and reconciliation in the state.

“All the community leaders expressed their grievances and sought forgiveness among themselves to promote peace and unity and foster development in the state,” Dr. Igga said.

He said some of the recommendations from the community leaders will be discussed by the national government, especially, handing over the security of the PoCs site to the government of South Sudan.

However, the community leaders from the PoCs blamed UNMISS for allowing the brutality to take place on their watch without intervening, despite an apparent early warning sign of the threats.

The community leaders called on the state government to take full responsibility for the PoCs, citing UNMISS’s failure to provide the expected security at the site.

Death toll

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) reported in early June, at least 20 people have died from the Malakal inter-communal violence.

The initial fight erupted on May 28 at a water point at the Malakal Protection of Civilians (PoC) site leaving three people killed.

The inter-communal violence that flared up in early hours of Thursday, May 28, 2023, after 14 years old boy was stabbed to death; it triggered a kind of revenge attack in the camp.

According to UNMISS, at least 7,000 IDPs who left the PoC are still temporarily settled around and outside the UNMISS and humanitarian camps.

UNMISS however, noted that the situation had calmed adding the government and international community are maintaining vigilance to prevent further escalation and to provide stronger security.


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