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EU, Troika call on government to act fast to end ongoing violence in Upper Nile

The European Union and the members of the Troika countries have called on the transitional unity government to act fast to end the ongoing killings and civilian displacement due to ongoing violence in Upper Nile and Jonglei States.

In a joint statement issued over the weekend in Juba, the two parties expressed deep concern over reports of an escalation in violence in Upper Nile and Jonglei States where scores of civilians have been killed and around 50,000 displaced.

“These killings, homes and livelihoods burned and destroyed, and sexual and gender-based violence being perpetrated, including against minors, are horrifying and cannot go unaddressed,” it said.

“The impact of this violence on an already dire humanitarian situation is further devastating vulnerable communities and their access to health and education services,” it added.

The violence initially erupted in August between rival factions of Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in opposition (SPLA-IO) that split from the mainstream SPLM/A-IO led by First Vice President Riek Machar.

However, the renewed violence in November pitied the invading White Army militia from Jonglei against the indigenous Shilluk community of Upper Nile. The fighting that is concentrated in Fashoda County left hundreds killed, and thousands displaced putting pressure on already overcrowded Malakal Protection of Civilians Site.

“It is clear that South Sudan’s transitional leaders bear a share of the responsibility for the escalation of this violence, and primary responsibility for ending it,” it said.

It further called on authorities to allow and facilitate the safe access and delivery of humanitarian assistance to Upper Nile and Jonglei State, as well as in other conflict areas in the country, and to the more than 9.4 million people in need of aid across South Sudan.

“We call on all sides to abide by the conditions set out in the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement. Each missed implementation benchmark further calls into question the political commitment of South Sudan’s leaders to end the transitional period in two years,” it said.

The EU and Troika said that inaction by the government will lead to more loss of innocent lives and also worsen the dire humanitarian situation that continues to worsen with each month.

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