September 6, 2021 (JUBA) – The United Nations Mission in South Sudan is appealing to national and local leaders to resolve tensions in Tambura and the wider Western Equatorian region after a fresh outbreak of fighting.
- The map of Western Equatoria in red
The call comes in the wake of reports of Sunday’s sporadic shooting between groups in Tambura, endangering the lives of civilians thus creating the risk of further displacement and increasing humanitarian needs.
The latest incident follows rising tension and violence in the past few months.
“We are urging those engaged in the conflict to end the fighting so that security can be restored,” said the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Nicholas Haysom.
“It is also vital that political leaders at the national and local level take urgent action to resolve tensions and bring communities together to avoid further loss of life, homes, and livelihoods,” he added.
According to Haysom, fighting has forced over 40,000 people to flee their homes.
“This is increasing demand for humanitarian assistance at a time when resources are already stretched. Aid workers are also finding themselves caught in the crossfire while trying to carry out their critical tasks,” stressed Haysom, urging authorities to ensure humanitarians have safe and unhindered access to those in need.
The top UN official said although the primary responsibility for protecting civilians lies with national and state governments, UNMISS is doing all it can to deter violence and build peace in the affected areas of Western Equatoria.
The UN mission said it has extended the duration of the temporary base it established in Tambura several weeks ago when fighting first broke out, enabling the peacekeepers to carry out day and night patrols and provide a protective presence for civilians, including the displaced families.
It, however, said it would continue supporting various reconciliation and peacebuilding activities, bringing together political and security actors, civil society, traditional and faith-based leaders and community members.
According to reports, the routine of inter-communal clashes in many parts of the country prevails due to lack of an efficient justice system.