IGAD strongly condemns killing of civilians in South Sudan
By Patel Okumu
IGAD Executive Secretary, Ambassador (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim
The IGAD Executive Secretary, Ambassador (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim expresses deep concern over the spiraling violence across South Sudan and the worsening humanitarian situation in the country.
He also strongly condemns the deliberate targeting of civilians in the conflict as evidenced during the recent fighting in Bentiu (Unity State), as well as the April 17 attack of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) compound in Bor.
These incidents constitute a grave violation of the commitment by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GRSS) and the SPLM/A (in Opposition) to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement that was signed on January 23 2014 under the auspices of the IGAD-led Mediation Process, and can only serve to undermine the ongoing peace process.
These recent killings of 200 civilians in a mosque in Bentiu are of massacre proportions, with over 400 injuries. The April 17 attack on unarmed civilians in the UNMISS compound in Bor has also resulted in over 40 deaths and injury to more than 70.marked the Executive Secretary.
Ambassador (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim urged the Parties to demonstrate their commitment to the IGAD-led Mediation Process as the only viable means of resolving the conflict. He further called on the Parties to cooperate with the ongoing investigation into these incidents by the IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM).
The effects of the five-month long violent conflict in South Sudan have already proved catastrophic with thousands of lives lost and more than a million people displaced. The conflict has also seriously disrupted economic activities and food production with imminent risk of serious famine. In this respect, the Executive Secretary calls on the international community to act now to put pressure on both parties to stop the war and prevent a deeper catastrophe from unfolding in South Sudan.
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IGAD South Sudan conflict Ambassador (Eng.) Mahboub Maalim