Juba, 18 February 2016: The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) strongly condemns the violence that erupted last night between Shilluk and Dinka youths in its Protection of Civilians site in Malakal. Violence has continued on the morning of 18 February. The Mission calls on all communities to refrain from violence, restore calm and resolve differences through dialogue.
Violence involving the use of small arms, machetes and other weapons broke out between youths from both communities in the late evening on 17 February. According to preliminary reports, there have been 5 fatalities among the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) community and approximately 30 injured.
UNMISS police in charge of maintaining order within the protection sites immediately intervened with tear gas to disperse the crowd. Casualties were brought to the international NGO clinic in the site. UN troops have increased perimeter patrolling while physically securing areas in the vicinity of the Protection of Civilians site. UNMISS is also engaging with local authorities in Malakal to de-escalate the situation. The Mission reminds all concerned, including security forces, of the civilian character of the compound, and the sanctity of UN assets and personnel as well as that of the civilians protected inside the UN compound. Such an attack against civilians and UN premises may constitute a war crime.
UNMISS protects 47,791 civilians in Malakal, while 198,440 civilians are currently protected at six UNMISS bases throughout South Sudan.