Juba, 19 February 2016: The situation in the UN Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Malakal has been calm since the eruption of violence on Wednesday evening. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) remains very concerned by the occurrence of such clashes despite the immediate intervention of the UN Police and the interposition of UNMISS forces between Shilluk and Dinka youths.
Violence was further compounded by shooting coming from outside the base into the PoC site - reportedly from armed men allegedly donning SPLA uniforms. UN troops exchanged fire with them and eventually pushed them outside of the UN compound. UNMISS Force has also intensified its patrols around the perimeter of the site and secured specific areas in the vicinity of the UN base. The UN troops and Police are also clearing the scene of the fighting as well as the site searching for illegal weapons
UNMISS is deeply saddened by the deaths of and injured civilians as a result of the fighting, and deplores the destruction of installations and property, with an increasing number of civilians without shelter and lack of sanitation and hygiene.
UNMISS and partners are involved in discussions with community leaders from the PoC site to calm and dialogue between communities. UNMISS and partners also continue engaging with local authorities in Malakal to control the situation and evaluate immediate humanitarian needs.
UNMISS and partners have also put together an evaluation mission to assess the needs and vulnerability of thousands of civilians who have fled the site to Malakal town. UNMISS troops have also conducted a mission in Wau Shilluk to reinforce the UN presence in the area.
The United Nations wants to reiterate its condemnation of the violence that occurred in Malakal in the last 2 days, remind all the warring parties that an attack against the UN may constitute a war crime and calls once again the parties to settle their differences through the implementation of the peace agreement.
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