Activities of armed groups threaten civilians in South Sudan: UN envoy

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Hilde Johnson on visit to conflict area in Jonglei state, South Sudan

Inter-communal violence and activities of armed groups in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity States continue to be a source of instability and pose grave threats to the civilian population in South Sudan.

That's what the UN Security Council heard Thursday from Hilde Johnson, the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), during her briefing on the situation in the country.

She said land disputes also remain a potential source of insecurity throughout the country.

Ms Johnson said the situation in Jonglei State is a source of major concern and presents complex challenges for both UNMISS and the government.

"The Government remains committed to finding a peaceful solution to the threat posed by David Yau Yau’s armed group, but has made it clear that the window for dialogue is closing and that military operations may soon be launched. Although the Government is committed to do its utmost to protect civilians during such operations, the civilian population can be at risk from being caught in the crossfire. We have stressed that any military response to insecurity must secure the protection of civilians – in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law." (29")

Under Secretary-General Johnson reported to the Security Council that UNMISS has developed contingency plans for possible Jonglei State scenarios.

She said the Mission has strengthened its troop presence and increased the number of integrated civilian military patrols to identify the locations of potential attacks.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'21"

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