19th January 2020
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Travelers killed on Yei-Juba road

Author: Woja Emmanuel | Published: 5 months ago

Yei road

The South Sudan People’s Defense Forces say two civilians were killed, and another wounded in an attack along Juba-Yei Road on Wednesday.

The deaths reportedly included a foreigner whose identity remains to be established.

Despite the permanent ceasefire, insecurity along the Yei-Juba road remains widespread as attacks on passenger vehicles are frequently reported.

A recent UN report suggests that more than 100 people were killed and over 100 women and girls raped after the signing of the revitalized peace agreement last year.

The UNMISS human rights division said it has documented 95 separate incidents of violations and abuses in the period from September 2018 until April 2019.

These incidents include 30 attacks on villages that led to the killing of 104 civilians and wounding 35 others.

It said at least 187 people were also abducted.

The ceasefire monitoring body – CTSAMM said most of the clashes involved government, one of its peace partners, and an opposition group that did not sign up to the revitalized peace agreement.

This latest attack comes weeks after a similar incident led to the killing of two Ugandan nationals plying the Yei – Uganda border road.

“They attacked the convoy and ended up killing two civilians including a foreigner whose nationality could not immediately be identified, and another one was wounded. They burnt the truck -between Jambo and Lainya,” said Major-General Lul Ruai Koang, army spokesperson.

The UN said atrocities around Yei River State are mainly committed by government forces, SPLA-IO, National Salvation Front or NAS and the South Sudan National Movement for Change or SSNMC.

The government blames some of the attacks on criminals, while on some occasions, they blame the hold-out groups -mainly the National Salvation Front, led by General Thomas Cirillo.

“They are targeting civilians and they have a moral responsibility not to target civilians,” Lul added.

But NAS blames the SSPDF of aggressing its troops. According to the spokesperson, Suba Samuel, NAS forces often fight in self-defence when attacked by SSPDF, but “does not attack civilians.”

Last month, President Salva Kiir reiterated his appeal to General Paul Malong and Thomas Cirillo to return home and support the revitalized peace agreement.

Kiir said he does not consider the opposition leaders, including the two as enemies, and that there is a need to consolidate all efforts around the peace agreement.

“There is no reason for all these wars. Thomas Cirilo is in the bush, he refused the agreement with Paul Malong, now if I kill one of them now or their followers, do I say that I have killed an enemy?” Kiir asked. “No, they are not enemies to me,” he told a crowd that gathered at Dr. John Garang Mausoleum in Juba during the Martyrs Day.

Recently, the South Sudan Civil Society Forum said it will collaborate with the church to persuade any opposition group that has not signed the revitalized peace agreement to get on board within the next three months.

The activists say having armed hold-out groups in the country could threaten the smooth implementation of the transitional period once a government of national unity is formed in November.

The group and the church intends to engage non-signatories to embrace the agreement within the next three months.

They say the absence of the armed groups in the implementation period could encourage some parties to abandon the agreement for personal gains.

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