The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño (Venezuela):
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the violence committed by elements of the Shilluk and Dinka communities, which erupted in the protection of civilians site in Malakal, South Sudan, on 17 February and continued on 18 February, resulting in over 18 deaths and 50 injured. The members of the Security Council were particularly alarmed by credible reports of armed men in Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) uniforms entering the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) camp and firing on civilians, and the looting and burning of tents.
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms all attacks and provocations against civilians and the United Nations by armed actors, including SPLA soldiers, and reminded all parties, including Government security forces, of the civilian character of the protection of civilian sites in South Sudan. The members of the Security Council called for calm by all sides and to refrain from additional fighting, acts of violence, and further provocations. They called on the Government of South Sudan to swiftly investigate this attack, with the assistance of UNMISS, and bring the perpetrators to justice. They stressed that it is the responsibility of the Government of South Sudan to hold those responsible for the attack accountable.
The members of the Security Council stressed that attacks against civilians and United Nations premises may constitute war crimes and those involved could be potentially subject to sanctions as authorized under resolution 2206 (2015) for actions that threaten the peace, security or stability of South Sudan.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for UNMISS, as mandated by the Security Council in resolution 2252 (2015), and urged all parties to facilitate the Mission’s freedom of movement and access.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of those who were killed as a result of the violence.