UN says militias in South Sudan responsible for 78 pct of killings in 2020

Source: Xinhua| 2021-03-31 22:18:02|Editor: huaxia

JUBA, March 31 (Xinhua) -- The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has blamed 78 percent of killings and injuries to civilians in 2020 on community-based militias in a report released in Juba on Wednesday.

The report by the Human Rights Division of UNMISS documents the killing of 2,421 civilians by militias in 2020, more than double the previous year. Over 1,500 people were injured last year, up from 866 in 2019. And it disclosed that the violence includes abductions and conflict-related sexual violence during attacks.

"Many of the victims of violence were killed or injured during a wave of attacks by armed community-based militias across Jonglei and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area, as well as in Warrap and Lakes. In some cases, these groups were supported by local and national elites driven by political and economic interests," the UNMISS said.

The clashes were concentrated in 13 percent of the country's 540 administrative areas (payams) and largely involved community-based militias rather than conventional parties to the conflict.

It also noted a sharp rise in abductions by more than 300 percent with the majority of victims being children stolen from their families during militia-led raids.

UNMISS has already deployed peacekeepers to the affected areas ahead of the dry season when conflict traditionally erupts due to tensions between communities over scarce resources. Enditem