Juba, April 1 (IANS) The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has blamed 78 per cent of killings and injuries to civilians in 2020 on community-based militias.
A report released in Juba on Wednesday by the Human Rights Division of UNMISS documents the killing of 2,421 civilians by militias in 2020, more than double the previous year, reports Xinhua news agency.
Over 1,500 people were injured last year, up from 866 in 2019.
The report also 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 per cent of the country’s 540 administrative areas (payams) and largely involved community-based militias rather than conventional parties to the conflict, according to the report.
It also noted a sharp rise in abductions by more than 300 per cent 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.