The Center for Peace Advocacy has strongly condemned the renewed hostilities in Leer County, Unity State. In a detailed press statement, the group expressed grave concerns over the resurgence of fighting between forces loyal to Dr. Riek Machar and those of his former General, Simon Maguek, who recently defected to SPLM IG under President Kirr, alleging marginalization by Machar and his wife, Angelina Teny.
General Maguek’s defection from Juba to Leer County, aiming to rally his forces against the SPM IO led by Machar, has escalated tensions. The advocacy group urged the Transitional Government of National Unity, led by both conflicting parties, to adhere to international humanitarian and human rights laws, emphasizing the principles of comprehensive engagement.
The statement criticized the provocative actions violating the Revitalized Peace Agreement (R-ARCSS), particularly Chapter Two, Article 21104. These actions include hostile propaganda, force mobilization, redeployment, and administrative activities that jeopardize peace efforts and contravene the COHA of December 2017.
Highlighting the lack of leadership commitment as a key factor in the conflict, the Center for Peace Advocacy called for a collective effort to transform the war-torn state into a peaceful democracy, with hopes pinned on the December 2024 General Election. They also appealed to the government to hold accountable those instigating conflict.
Additionally, the statement implored peace partners like RJMEC, CTSAMUM, and IGAD to investigate the Leer County conflict and impose collective sanctions on those found culpable. Recent reports from Leer County’s commissioner and contrasting statements from SPLM IO spokesperson Lam Paul Gabriel and SSDF regarding the recent attacks underscore the urgency of the situation. The Center for Peace Advocacy team insists that for citizens to fully appreciate the nation’s potential, a unified effort towards peace is essential.