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Jonglei civil society calls for deployment of forces to deter violence

The Jonglei Civil Society Network has called on the government to immediately deploy forces in hot spot areas to deter Agwelek militia forces from wracking more havoc in the state.

 Bol Deng Bol, the Chairperson for Jonglei Civil Society Network a loose coalition of civil society organizations, said on Thursday that the deployment will deter imminent attack from the militia headed by renegade General Johnson Olony which has destabilized northern Jonglei and Upper Nile state since November.

“We intend to appeal to the government to heed to this alarm by timely considering necessary security measures in the areas deemed vulnerable to the alleged menace such as heightening presence of the army and other law enforcement agencies,” Deng said in a statement.

Biel Boutros Biel, the Commissioner for Fangak County, said on Wednesday that Agwelek forces are planning to stage attacks on Fangak and Pigi Counties.

 “It is equally of paramount importance for the two governments of Jonglei and Upper Nile States to engage the leadership of Agwelek forces on non-violent approaches to end the conflict,” Bol added.

The United Nations  Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in it’s latest quarterly brief said the number of civilians affected by violence in South Sudan increased sharply at the end of 2022, compared to both the previous quarter and the same period in 2021.

“From October to December 2022, the number of civilians harmed increased by 87 percent, compared to the same period in 2021. This rise was accompanied by a disturbing increase in abductions and conflict-related sexual violence — which have gone up by 464 percent and 360 percent respectively, when compared to the previous year,” it said.

It noted that violence in the last three months of 2022 was concentrated in specific areas like Upper Nile, Warrap and Jonglei States.

“More than half (53 per cent) the number of civilian victims came out of the conflict between Agwelek Forces and the Kitgwang group and their respective allied armed militias in the Greater Upper Nile region,” it said.

UNMISS disclosed that many civilians were also hit by intercommunal violence in Warrap, Jonglei, and Eastern Equatoria states.

It said these conflicts were exacerbated by pre-existing communal tensions, climate shocks, food insecurity, disruption of livelihoods and the devaluation of the local currency – factors which are still contributing to cattle-related violence and wider tensions between communities.

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