July 12, 2016 (JUBA) - At least 42,000 civilians have been displaced in the recent fighting that occurred in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, a United Nations official said.
- The head of the UN peacekeeping mission, Herve Ladsous speaking in Juba (UNMISS photo)
The UN peacekeeping chief, Hervé Ladsous told the Security Council that 7,000 of those displaced were accounted for at the two UN compounds and the remaining about 35,000 were sheltering between the World Food Programme (WFP) compound, other non-governmental organisations and churches in the city.
He expressed concerns over potentials for the resumption of violence and spill over into others parts of the young nation.
On Wednesday, according to Ladsous, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was been able to conduct limited patrolling again to assess the security situation, the safety and security of personnel and assets at UN compounds.
The senior UN official, however, noted that securing freedom of movement remains an uphill battle as security forces limit the mission’s movement every step of the way.
He urged the South Sudanese government to allow UNMISS and humanitarian actors’ freedom of movement and access to provide vital assistance to the civilian population.
Ladsous accused South Sudan’s warring parties of “deliberately” attempting to stall the implementation of the peace agreement, and echoed the Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon’s call for reconsideration of an arms embargo, as well as additional targeted sanctions on leaders and commanders blocking implementation of the peace deal.
We can no longer afford to sit idle as South Sudanese bear the brunt of the intransigence of their leaders, he stressed.
Meanwhile, the UN Children Fund (UNICEF) said it was, together with its partners, providing urgent life-saving assistance to thousands displaced by the fighting in Juba.
"Four trucks of supplies were dispatched from UNICEF warehouses and taken to a UN displacement site in Juba as soon as movement became possible in the city earlier today [Wednesday]. These include supplies for the treatment of malnutrition as well as sanitation items [such] as water containers and soap. Primary health care kits as well as recreational items for children will be distributed tomorrow," the UN said in a statement.