Press Statement

10 April 2013

South Africa condemns killing of UNMISS peacekeepers and civilians

It is with deep sadness that President Jacob Zuma, the South African Government and the people of South Africa learnt of the killing on 9 April 2013 of five peacekeepers deployed under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Seven civilians working for the peacekeeping force were also killed in the ambush in South Sudan’s Jonglei State by unknown attackers. At least nine additional peacekeepers and civilians were injured in the attack and some remain unaccounted for.  Jonglei State has been plagued by violence due to the dissenting movement led by David YauYau.

It is tragic that United Nations peacekeepers, deployed to support South Sudan to maintain stability have come under attack.  President Zuma expresses his condolences to UNMISS, the Government and peoples of South Sudan and the families and friends of the peacekeepers and civilians who died in the attack.

UNMISS has been deployed to South Sudan since the independence of the country in July 2011, with a mandate granted by the UNSC to protect civilians. UNMISS patrols also aim to protect humanitarian aid convoys in Jonglei State which provide assistance to civilians affected by the clashes between South Sudan security forces and rebel groups.

This tragic incident should not discourage UNMISS from continuing to provide the necessary protection to civilians and humanitarian aid convoys in South Sudan.  South Africa urges rebel factions in Jonglei State to renounce violence and raise their concerns in a constructive and reconciliatory manner.

For further information please contact Mr. Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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