JUBA, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) — South Sudan on Saturday said 19 civilians were killed and eight others wounded in a village west of Gorom in southern part of the country in the latest rebel attack.
Mawien Makol, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan, said in a statement issued in Juba that opposition forces loyal to the National Salvation Front (NAS) attacked the villagers, mostly children and women, on Wednesday.
“The government of South Sudan condemns this barbaric killing of the innocent civilians in the strongest terms possible. The government calls upon guarantors of the revitalized peace agreement on the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan to persuade the co-signatories to the agreement to lay down their guns and join peace in the country,” said Makol.
The official called on Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM), and United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to verify and investigate this latest violation of the permanent ceasefire agreement.
He further urged the groups not to repeat such barbaric and subversive act.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation calls for the humanitarian agencies operating in the country to urgently provide humanitarian assistance to the victims and the affected population in Gorom,” Makol added.
He reiterated the government’s unwavering commitment to implementing the revitalized peace deal.
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, his former deputy and arch rival Riek Machar and several opposition groups signed a power-sharing deal in Ethiopia on Sept. 12, 2018. However, NAS leader declined to ink the pact.
Lul Ruai Koang, spokesman for the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces, also confirmed the incident and condemned the unjustified killing of civilians, calling on the international community to hold NAS leader Thomas Cirilo and his commanders accountable.