January 15, 2023 (JUBA) – The head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Nicholas Haysom has expressed concerns over the spate of intercommunal fighting in several parts of the country, saying it could derail the ongoing peace process.
He was speaking at the start of year press conference held in Juba Friday.
“This violence and fighting, disturbingly characterized by tribal undertones in many areas, is particularly damaging. It poses a real threat to the gains achieved so far and could even derail the peace process,” said Haysom.
The Special Representative of the Secretary General said they have identified five conflicts or hot spots that require our continuing and continuous attention and that remain as challenges for the young nation.
These, he said, include the conflict in Jonglei, Greater Pibor Administrative Area, Upper Nile, Western Equatoria and Warrap State, among other parts.
“We have taken action, and continue to act, to mitigate and reduce the impact of all these conflicts and their long-term effects. We will share with you the steps we are taking by referring only to our actions in Jonglei,” he added.
The top UN official further called on the international community to support the peace process as the country prepares for elections due next year.
He said they plan to open a temporary base in the Greater Pibor Administrative area to protect civilians who have been devastated by the recent conflict and also conduct an investigation into violations of the human rights of civilians during the conflict.
Violence is rife in parts of South Sudan where clashes triggered by domestic disputes over grazing areas, water, cultivation grounds and other resources often turn deadly.