President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar have called for an end to sub-national violence in parts of the country.
A statement by the South Sudan government on Tuesday said by the two leaders made the call during a meeting in Juba, which centered on the land-related conflict between the Ngok and Twic communities.
At least 42 people were last month killed, including a UN peacekeeper, during clashes Saturday in the Abyei Administrative Area between armed youth of the Twic community of neighboring Warrap state and Ngok Dinka of Abyei.
Rou Manyiel Rou, the secretary general of Abyei Special Administrative Area, said that the attacks in Nyinkuac, Majbong, and Khadian areas also left 35 people wounded.
The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei condemned the series of armed attacks that took place Saturday in the Abyei Administrative Area, which resulted in the death of a UN peacekeeper from Ghana.
“The Mission confirms that the inter-communal clashes that took place in the Nyinkuac, Majbong, and Khadian areas led to casualties and the evacuation of civilians to UNISFA bases to provide safety for those caught up in the violence. Efforts are underway to verify the number of those killed, injured, and displaced in the violence,” UNISFA said in a statement.
Presidential Affairs Minister Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro also said the meeting further discussed the upcoming elections, particularly funding of the electoral institutions and the Phase II of the Security Arrangements in accordance with the September 2018 revitalized peace agreement.
On Monday, Bangasi said President Kiir reassured the Holy See of his administration’s commitment to conduct free and credible elections this year.
Visiting Cardinal Michael Czerny said Pope Francis is looking forward to seeing peaceful, free, fair and credible elections in South Sudan.
“As you prepare for the general elections, pray and work hard to ensure that it is nonviolent, fair, transparent, credible and peaceful,” he said, adding that for this to be achieved, “There is groundwork to be done, putting into place needed infrastructures in the political sphere, preparing your minds and hearts for possible transition.”