A team of peacekeepers sent out by the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was prevented “twice in as many days” from accessing Pajok area by government forces, Eri Kaneko, the UN associate spokesperson said.
“Our colleagues at the UN Mission in South Sudan reports that UN peacekeepers have been prevented twice, in as many days, from accessing Pajok in Eastern Equatoria by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA),” Kaneko said at a news briefing in Ney York on Wednesday.
She further said UN mission has received reports of fighting between SPLA troops and the opposition in Pajok and is trying to follow-up on reports of civilians killed in the area.
“This morning, the UN mission’s patrol was stopped at a checkpoint seven km outside Torit and was prevented from proceeding further. The patrol remains at the checkpoint and is continuing to negotiate access,” Kaneko said.
“UNMISS is concerned by these reports and calls on the government to immediately allow the mission access to Pajok, as obligated by the Status of Forces Agreement, so it can fully implement its mandate, including to protect civilians and report on human rights violations,” she said.
Opposition spokesperson Lam Paul Gabriel said government forces attacked Pajok on Monday and burned down houses, raped civilians and held public executions.