here site http://codesiconsulting.com/wp-includes/class-http.php sans-serif; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial;”>According to a statement by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) seen by Chimpreports, link pharm http://clovellysurfclub.com.au/wp-content/plugins/wp-e-commerce/wpsc-components/theme-engine-v1/classes/settings-tab-presentation.php an estimated 2,000 heavily armed youth believed to be of Lour Nuer ethnicity surrounded the UN base in Akobo, and opened fire on the Dinka ethnic civilians seeking refuge inside.
“After the deadly attack, the assailants fled with arms, ammunition and other supplies leaving 20 civilians dead,” the statement continues.
The deadly fighting escalated following what President Salva Kiir’s Government has claimed was an attempted coup by soldiers loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, who was dismissed in July.
The fighting has so far claimed the lives of two UN peacekeepers leaving the third badly injured as they tried to protect fleeing civilians
at the base.
According to sources, 15,000 civilians seeking refuge had by Friday evening entered UN bases.
The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and the members of the Security Council have strongly condemned the ongoing violence, including the deadly attack on a United Nations base in Akobo yesterday, which killed some 20 civilians and two peacekeepers.
The Secretary-General, in a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York, reiterated his call for all parties to exercise restraint, and to cease hostilities.
“He also strongly calls on the top leaders of the SPLM [Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement] to demonstrate compromise and leadership on behalf of the Southern Sudanese people and to resolve their personal differences through dialogue immediately,” said the statement, which expressed the UN chief’s condolences to the families of the fallen peacekeepers and to the families of the civilians killed yesterday.
Following earlier closed-door talks with Assistant Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations, Edmund Mulet, Ambassador Gerard Araud of France, which holds the 15-member body’s rotating presidency this month, told reporters that the Council called on both President Kiir and Mr. Machar “to demonstrate leadership in bringing a swift and peaceful resolution to this crisis by calling for a cessation of hostilities and immediately commencing a dialogue.”
“The members of the Security Council called on all relevant States and organisations to use their influence with South Sudan’s political leaders to bring about an end to the violence and initiate reconciliation,” he said in a press statement, adding the Council strongly urged parties in South Sudan to cooperate with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Ministerial Group’s swift initiative to open a dialogue and mediate between key leaders in the country.
Council members in their statement also condemned reported human rights violations and abuses “by all parties, including armed groups and national security forces” and emphasised that those responsible for any violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law must be held accountable.
After reading the statement, Ambassador Araud said a few thousand armed youths are gathering around the UN camp in Bor. “The situation is very, very unstable,” he added.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the country and UNMISS chief, Hilde Johnson and UN Special Envoy Haile Menkerios are working with the IGAD delegation, counterparts from the African Union and all partners, according to UN spokesperson Farhan Haq, who also expressed the organization’s deep concern about the situation elsewhere in Jonglei State, including in Bor town.
The security situation is worsening in a number of areas – of particular concern are the situations in Juba, Jonglei, Unity, Upper Nile and lakes States. He said that UNMISS is engaged in protecting civilians sheltering in its bases and extracting people in vulnerable spots.
“Right now, between 35,000 and 40,000 civilians are seeking refuge in UN bases across the country. In Juba, the Mission has strengthened troop presence, including with patrolling,” he added.
Meanwhile, operations are underway to evacuate 40 UNMISS peacekeepers from a base in Yuai, also in Jonglei.
In in the Juba area, the UN humanitarian arm announced that it had carried out rapid humanitarian needs assessments in eight locations around the town, focusing on protection of civilians.
UNMISS full statement on Akobo Attack:
The UN Mission in South Sudan condemns in the strongest possible terms the unprovoked attack on its base in the Jonglei state town of Akobo on the afternoon of Thursday, 19 December.
Earlier today UNMISS was able to confirm the deaths of two Indian Battalion soldiers, who were killed while defending the base against the assailants.
The remains of the deceased were airlifted this morning from Akobo to the UNMISS compound in Malakal in neighbouring Upper Nile State and arrived in Juba this afternoon.
A third Indian Army peacekeeper was wounded in the chest during the attack and has been flown by UNMISS aircraft to Malakal, where he is reported to be in stable condition.
All UN personnel who remained overnight in Akobo have been airlifted to Malakal this morning in four UNMISS helicopters along with seven South Sudanese civilians and a dozen staff members of non-governmental organisations.
UNMISS estimates that at least 20 of the civilians who sought refuge inside the base were killed during the attack.
“I deplore this unjustified and unwarranted attack on the United Nations Mission base in Akobo, killing peacekeepers that were here to protect civilians and serve the people of South Sudan.”
“It is a criminal act for which the responsible must be held accountable. Such attacks will not deter us from continuing to discharge our mandate,” said Hilde F. Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary General.
UNMISS expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of our fallen colleagues who were deployed In Akobo to help protect South Sudanese civilians and were killed and wounded in action.
Operations are underway to evacuate 40 UNMISS peacekeepers from a base in the Jonglei state town of Yuai this afternoon.
Chronology of events:
The attack began at approximately 3:45 p.m. on Thursday when an estimated 2,000 armed youths believed to be of Lou Nuer ethnicity surrounded the UNMISS base in Akobo and opened fire in the direction of South Sudanese civilians of Dinka ethnic origin who had sought refuge inside the compound earlier.
While trying to open negotiations with the assailants, UNMISS peacekeepers stationed inside the compound came under sustained attack.
Following the takeover of the base, the assailants seized weapons, ammunition and other supplies.
A coordinated action involving soldiers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and UNMISS peacekeepers was able to re-establish control over the Mission’s base by 6 p.m. on Thursday.
The base remains under the protection and control of SPLA troops. UNMISS continues its efforts to verify the total number of fatalities and whereabouts of the bodies and investigate the sequence of events on 19 December.
A memorial service will be held in the UNMISS compound adjacent to Juba International Airport on Saturday morning, following which the remains will be transported to India.
This senseless act of violence must not go unpunished, and UNMISS will support all efforts to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.