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Church leaders demand suppression of violence in Unity state

Civilians fleeing the violence in Unity State

By Chondok Stephen Magei

Church leaders are demanding Unity State government and communities to overcome and supress violence that continue to torment the people.

In February, violence has led to cattle raiding, destruction of villages including looting and plunder, killing of civilians and displacement in the areas of Koch, Leer and Mayendit Counties.

“The State government should use its power to end this gross violation of human rights,” Rev. John Biel, the spokesman for the Interchurch committee in Unity told journalists in the capital Bentiu.

“Serious action is needed to engage communities with peace dialogue activities,” he said.

According to Biel, more than 20 villages were looted and burnt down in Mirmir Payam, Leah Padeah, Gandoor, Luom, Lual and Rupnor.

Responding to the violence too, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan said over the weekend that the government should hold those responsible for instigating and participating in the violence accountable.

The mission said the fighting that began in Mirmir Payam, Unity State, between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition and armed youths has spread to several villages in Koch, Mayiandit and Leer leaving civilians killed over the past two weeks, with others injured, and to flee their homes.

“Civilian property was destroyed, and humanitarian supplies looted. Between 22 and 23 February, local health facilities in Leer town reported nine women raped,” UNMISS said in an emailed statement. 

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