January 29, 2017 (JUBA) - The new head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), David Shearer held a meeting with South Sudan President Salva Kiir, during which the former reiterated the mission’s commitment to supporting peace efforts in the young nation.
- David Shearer (Getty Images)
Shearer, a U.N spokesperson said, also assured the South Sudanese leader that the U.N and UNMISS are there to support the Government and help the people of war-torn South Sudan.
The senior U.N official reportedly state that he was in South Sudan with an open mind and would leave the East African nation if conditions in the country permit UNMISS to leave.
Shearer, who doubles at the special representative of the Secretary General in South Sudan, also met with the South Sudanese minister of cabinet affairs, Martin Elia Lomuro and that he was pleased to hear the minister reiterate South Sudan Government’s commitment to the deployment of the Regional Protection Force (RPF) mandated by the U.N Security Council in August 2016.
UNMISS was deployed in July 2011 after South Sudan’s independence from Sudan. Currently, there are 13,000 uniformed personnel and over 2,000 international and local civilian staff.
South Sudan descended into turmoil in mid-December 2013 when rival forces loyal to President Kiir bitterly fought with those loyal to his former deputy Riek Machar. Since then, tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced in a crisis that has produced one of the world’s worst displacement situations with immense suffering for civilians.