Head of UN Mission to South Sudan condemns extrajudicial executions
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Head of UN Mission to South Sudan condemns extrajudicial executions

Nicholas Haysom, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for South Sudan and Head of the UN Mission to South Sudan (UMISS), Wednesday condemned the recent extrajudicial killings of four officers from the rebel South Sudan People’s Movement/Army (SSPM/A) in Mayom County, Unity State, South Sudan. The killings were shared on social media

Haysom stated “Anyone who is suspected of a crime must be subject to a proper trial as part of a fair judicial process. Extrajudicial killings must be condemned because they cannot be a basis for restoring law and order.” His statement also suggests that the August 7th killings may have been in response to a July 22nd attack on the Mayom County Commissioner by the SSPM/A. 

The South Sudanese government has also condemned the killings, claiming they were not ordered by the Ministry of Defense nor other government entities. In a statement following an extended meeting with President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Minister of Defense Angelina Teny said “We condemn the extrajudicial killing that happened in Mayom County of Unity State. It is not justice, it is unacceptable, not tolerated, it is condemned and the order did not come from the Ministry of Defence and SSPDF.”

South Sudan is one of the youngest countries in Africa, gaining its independence on July 9, 2011. It has been in turmoil ever since a civil war that ended in February 2020 when Kiir Mayardit struck a unity deal and formed a coalition government. There have been attempts at transitioning to a democratically elected government, but, as recently as August 4, Kiir Mayardit has dismissed the possibility of transition, stating that “[w]e don’t want to rush…into an election that will take us back to war.”