South Sudan

Civilians seek safety at UNMISS base in Pibor

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29 February 2016 - Over 2000 civilians are seeking shelter at the UNMISS base in Pibor, following armed clashes in the area.

The displaced people fled their homes when fighting between two armed groups erupted on 23 February, causing about 2,000 civilians from the local population, as well as staff from humanitarian agencies, to move to the Mission’s support base for safety.

Aiming to protect those seeking refuge inside the base, the UNMISS Indian battalion guarded the compound’s perimeter to deter any entry by armed groups.

The battalion also liaised with humanitarians and other UN agencies to provide basic necessities for the civilians, including medical aid for those who were injured.

As fighting continued into a second day, the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team in the area also sought protection from the UNMISS peacekeepers, who extricated 25 people, including 11 patients, from the MSF compound.

“As heavy gunfire approached the facility, the team was forced to move to the UNMISS compound,” said a statement issued by MSF on 24 February. “MSF staff brought medical equipment and supplies with them and they have been supporting the provision of medical treatment to the wounded.”

The Indian battalion also conducted patrols to enable staff from other humanitarian agencies to return to their bases to collect much-needed supplies to assist the displaced persons.

In addition, the battalion patrolled the World Food Programme compound to prevent looting of its stocks.