The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for South Sudan and head of the UN Mission in South Sudan, Ellen Margrethe Løj, visited Malakal today to assess the situation and to meet with stakeholders on the ground, including community leaders within the protection site and Malakal town.
During her visit, the SRSG reiterated the UN’s commitment to UNMISS’ mandate to protect civilians. “I am here to see the situation on the ground and understand how best to move forward on all fronts (security, humanitarian assistance and inter-communal dialogue)” stated the SRSG.
The SRSG visited the protection of civilian site and met with men and women from the elders, community leaders, and youth representative. “It is important for me to meet with you personally today to listen to your views” the SRSG said during the meeting with representatives of the community. “I urge all responsible parties to refrain from any actions or statements that escalate tensions, and to respect the rules governing UN protection sites – including no weapons inside protection sites”. The SRSG told community representatives that “UNMISS and partners will continue to engage with local authorities in Malakal to restore calm and resolve differences through dialogue.” SRSG Løj, also meet with the internally displaced persons (IDPs), in Malakal town, who left the POC site in February.
The SRSG held meetings with UNMISS military and police contingents, humanitarian partners and concluded internal meetings with an all staff Town hall. Before returning to Malakal airport, SRSG Løj paid a courtesy call to the Governor of the newly created Eastern Nile State.