Washington, DC - The United States condemns the intensified fighting and violence in Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei states in South Sudan by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, the armed opposition, and forces led by General Johnson Olony that have led to massive new displacements and had a devastating effect on civilians. We call on all armed groups to immediately halt offensive actions taken in contravention of the January 2014 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.
Violations of international humanitarian norms, including the outright targeting of civilians already vulnerable to greater harm, especially women and children, and grave human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law by all sides are unacceptable. The international community will hold those who perpetrate such abuses and violations to account. We call on all sides to silence the guns immediately, permit the UN Mission in South Sudan to investigate the sites of all alleged human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, and allow all humanitarian workers immediate, free and unobstructed access to conflicted-affected communities regardless of their locations.
The human, social, and economic costs of this war have been devastating and the long-suffering people of South Sudan will also bear the brunt of the potential long-term consequences of this escalating fighting. Any damage to South Sudan’s oil infrastructure is an additional life-long wound to the people and jeopardizes South Sudan’s development and rebuilding. These resources belong to all South Sudanese people and the needs of the nation should be prioritized over the violent intentions of a few.
We will continue to work for a better future for all South Sudanese citizens and condemn those that intentionally jeopardize their collective future.