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Civilian casualties decrease across South Sudan: UN report

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) registered a 60 per cent decrease in violent incidents against civilians and a 23 per cent decrease in civilian victims in the third quarter of 2022, compared with the same period last year.

This was revealed in the latest report issued by UNMISS Human Rights Division in Juba on Wednesday.

It noted that 745 civilians were subjected to killing, injury, abduction, and conflict-related sexual violence between July and September 2022, compared to 922 civilian victims in the second quarter of 2022; and 969 in the same period of 2021.

It said that Upper Nile and Warrap States were most affected by the violence, accounting for more than half of victims recorded during the reporting period.

“Conventional parties to the conflict were responsible for a majority of the civilian casualties in the reporting period,” it said.

However, it noted decline in civilian casualties in the Greater Equatoria region.

“We are encouraged by the decrease in violence affecting civilians this quarter and hope to see a continued downward trend,” said Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in South Sudan and head of UNMISS.

The UN peacekeepers continue to safeguard communities by creating zones of protection in identified conflict hotspots. Recently, UNMISS deployed peacekeepers to Twic County, in Warrap State, to engage authorities, youth and women leaders in order to quell hostilities along the boundary with the Abyei Administrative Area.

“However, we do note that gross violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law remain a widespread concern across South Sudan,” said Haysom.

UNMISS reiterated its call to the transitional unity government to fulfill all of its obligations, including upholding the human rights of all South Sudanese.

It further encourages the government and parties to implement the Roadmap so that the people of South Sudan can fully benefit from the dividends of peace.

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