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UN peacekeepers apologise for failure to protect civilians in Malakal

February 22, 2016 (JUBA) – United Nations peacekeepers in South Sudan have apologized for failure to repel an attack on a protection of civilians’ site in Malakal last week.

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UN peacekeepers in South Sudan with one of their helicopters (UNMISS)

18 civilians were killed and over 80 others injured when youths from Shilluk and Dinka Padang communities clashed at a UN-manned site hosting nearly 50,000 civilians.

“We are really sorry, and sorry is an understatement,” Ariane Quentier, the spokesperson for the UN mission in South Sudan told a local radio in the capital, Juba on Monday.

She, however, said more UN police and security forces will be deployed to deter future attacks.

“It’s very sad that something like 18 people probably would not have lost their lives,” said Quetier.

The clashes in the Upper Nile state capital were the second deadly raid on UNMISS facility. An attack on civilian protected areas left at least 46 dead in April 2014. An estimated 200,000 South Sudanese took refuge at six UN sites at the onset of the conflict in mid-December 2013 for fear of being targeted and killed by government forces.

(ST)