National, News

UN calls for probe into alleged SSPDF participation in Abyei attack

By Bida Elly David


United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has called for an investigation on alleged involvement of South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) in Abyei attacks.

Early this week, Troika countries called on the government to withdraw its army from Abyei Administrative Area following a fatal communal attack that left over 30 people dead and dozens of others wounded.

But the army denied the allegation.

Nicholas Haysom, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General, told journalists that the incident has to be investigated.

“I have heard that the SSPDF denied that they were involved, and it must be something that the South Sudan government must investigate,” Haysom urged.

He stated that the SSPDF ought to be withdrawn from the Abyei-designated demilitarization zone if indeed they were found to have been involved in the attack.

“This really requires investigation, and if it is found that they were not involved, then it becomes unreliable to certify whether they were involved or not,” he added.

Troika countries, in their early statement, alleged that the presence of the SSPDF forces guarantees the presence of arms, but Nicholas differed in his response to that.

The fierce fight that erupted last Sunday has put the national army in a hot zone as the United Nations and other peacekeepers raise continued concerns.

The killings triggered questions about the government’s capabilities to arrest serious security matters.

Mr. Haysom said UNMISS has been concerned about the recurring Abyei conflict but still pushes for dialogue among the warring communities.

“Most recently, we have been concerned about reports of violence in Abyei and Warrap states, which claimed at least 75 lives in the country in the last two weeks,” he noted.

He echoed that there is a problem with the security situation as clashes continue in the country, with 80% of casualties between June and September.

The UNMISS Head underlined that insecurity still shakes South Sudan through organized militias and civil defense groups, among others.

“Leaders of these communities need to recognize that a future circle of retaliated violence is not going to solve problems,” he warned.

The UN envoy emphasized the need to use peaceful means to resolve issues that divide Abyei and still push the government to investigate the attacks and killings and do what is necessary to reduce tensions among the affected communities.

“UNMISS will continue the blue how most within our capacity for the protection of citizens and in support of state authorities, but we cannot be everywhere,” he said.

Mr. Nicholas further underscored that implementing Chapter 2 of the agreement, especially the security arrangement, will save the country.

“Security, stability, and protection of human rights are non-negotiable in the social contract between the government and the citizens,” he underscored.

Recently, the South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) 3rd Infantry Division Commander in Northern Bahr El Ghazal State General Akuei Ajou Akuei dismissed accusations that he was the mastermind of the Sunday bloody attacks.

General Akuei said he was blackmailed for no good reason.

He emphasized the need for national action from the presidency to address the issue between Twic and Ngok but warned against resistance from parties and politicians due to unsuccessful committees.

Gen. Akuei urged the Twic and Ngok communities to find solutions to their issues and avoid exploiting energetic youths for political gain.

Comments are closed.