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UN says considering setting up new base in South Sudan

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 David Shearer (UN photo)

July 19, 2017 (JUBA) - The United Nations says it plans to open a new base in the conflict-hit Yei region of South Sudan if the warring parties allow its peacekeepers unfettered access to outlying villages.

The Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), David Shearer, visited the town yesterday on a mission to assess the needs of the community against the value of establishing a base.

The head of the UN mission in the country (UNMISS), David Shearer said several conditions must be met before the world body commits to a new base, including guaranteed access for peacekeepers to areas outside the town, the cooperation of local authorities, and a grassroots peace process that is genuinely inclusive.

“There’s no point just talking to your friends. You have to talk to your enemies too or there will be no peace,” said Shearer.

Yei, an agricultural area that was relatively peaceful, became volatile in 2016 when violence erupted between government and Opposition forces as they fought for control over the strategic region.

Due to the renewed violence, most of the population reportedly fled, leaving Yei a ghost town, which it largely remains today amidst the ongoing violence, human rights abuses, and extreme poverty.

Shearer, however, expressed concerns that Yei region, the former breadbasket of war-torn South Sudan instead needed food aid.

“Everything you would want is here and yet it has been destroyed by war. Seventy per cent of the population is no longer here. They are in refugee camps or displaced.

"That’s the real tragedy so whatever we can do to try and support bringing back Yei to what it was, we will try and do,” he said.

Members of Yei State Transitional Legislative Assembly, Christian and Muslim religious leaders, women and youth representatives support the establishment of a new UN base in the town to provide protection and help build a durable peace.

The state assembly speaker, Naphtali Hassen Gale, said there was little evidence of rule of law in the town and many crimes were tolerated instead of being prosecuted.

“This had created a breakdown between the Government and the people and it would take time to restore confidence again,” stressed Gale.

But while a local peace agreement was signed last month, many in the community say, unless killings, abduction, rape and robberies stop, there is little hope of enduring peace or the recovery of the once vibrant and prosperous Yei region.

UNMISS was established on 8 July 2011 by UN Security Council Resolution 1996 (2011). As of August 2015, it comprised of 12,523 total personnel, 11,350 military, and 1,173 police personnel. It is headquartered in the South Sudanese capital Juba.

(ST)

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  • 20 July 18:10, by lino

    I suggest UN bases all around the country!!! Our people are on their own throats tribes against one another and brothers within one tribes killing themselves.
    They run from the Arab and now they become Arab of their own. It is all about greediness. Everyone is dreaming of getting the biggest plate without sharing it!!!

    repondre message

  • 20 July 19:18, by garrak1520

    No need of setting a base, just take the country back for the sake of the people from these hoarders. 50 years of fight in vain. The leadership is more keen to stealing than building the country. At least with you folks, you see one South Sudan, one community, and that’s what matter for now until they are matured enough to take back their country.
    God bless South Sudan, and punish the leadership.

    repondre message

  • 22 July 15:40, by gatkhor Nueri

    @garak

    If you don’t want UN base,soon you will deficate in to your Underwear.

    repondre message

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