The UN Mission in South Sudan condemns in the strongest possible terms this morning’s unprovoked attack on a convoy of barges hired by the Mission to deliver urgently needed food and fuel supplies to the UNMISS Upper Nile Base in Malakal. The attack took place on the Nile River, near Barbuoui. UNMISS has yet to establish the identity of the assailants, and spokespersons for both the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and SPLAM In Opposition forces have denied any responsibility for the attack and indicated that none of their forces is present in the area of Upper Nile State where the attack took place.
The attack began at approximately 10:15 hours local time when the barges came under small arms fire from the northern bank of the White Nile to the west of the Upper Nile State town of Tonga as they were steaming eastwards. Rocket-propelled grenades were later fired at the convoy of four vessels, and four crew members and UNMISS peacekeepers were wounded during the incident. None of their wounds is considered to be life-threatening.
The convoy left the Central Equatoria State town of Mangalla on 18 April with 16 crew members and 56 UNMISS peacekeepers aboard, and it resumed its voyage towards Malakal early this morning. Two of the barges are carrying a total of 65,000 kilograms of food rations for UNMISS and UN agency personnel and ! internally displaced persons currently living in the UNMISS compound to the north of the Upper Nile State capital. A third barge is carrying 372,000 liters of diesel and a fourth vessel is laden with 338,000 liters of jet A1 fuel.
All clearances were obtained from the relevant South Sudanese authorities prior to the departure of the convoy six days ago.
UNMISS once again calls on the main parties to the South Sudan crisis to comply with the cessation of hostilities agreement they signed in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on 23 January 2014 and also respect the inviolability of UN assets and facilities in South Sudan.
Head, Media Monitoring Unit, Public Information Office
United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
Mobile: 0912-178839 (within South Sudan) +211-912-178839 (dialing from outside South Sudan)
Office Ext. +211-912-062612
Call sign: JU 621