Near Verbatim Transcript of Press Briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan Mr. David Shearer Juba Conference Room UNMISS Tomping Site, Juba - 19 September 2018
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan is supporting the convening of a tripartite dialogue that seeks to calm tensions and build durable peace in the Lakes region of South Sudan, scheduled to take place from the 24th to the 26th of September 2018.
This follows an appeal by local authorities, acting on a presidential order, to resolve conflict among feuding communities in the area.
Residents of Kodok county in the Fashoda area of South Sudan had every reason, last week, to be grateful to Indian peacekeepers deployed in the area. For two days, the residents benefitted from a veterinary camp while women were trained in vegetable farming – both conducted by peacekeepers Indian peacekeepers serving under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The veterinary camp and agricultural training, held on 13 and 14 Sep 2018 respectively, were aimed at supporting livelihood activities in the area.
JAMES SOKIRI/FILIP ANDERSSON
Boda boda motorcyclists from across Yei town are voicing and quite possibly honking their support and optimism for a future blessed by durable peace, following the recent signing of the revitalized peace agreement.
“Many people have been displaced both within and outside the country, facing untold suffering from lack of basic services such as medicines, food, water, education and shelter. I hope this peace will now help restore sanity to us,” says 18-year-old boda boda driver Allan Alafi.
A Nepalese peacekeeper serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan was today shot and wounded by an SPLA soldier while travelling in a convoy in the town of Yei.
by Francesca Mold
It was an embrace that could end the suffering of 12 million people.
An historic coming together of two bitter foes who have spent five years fighting each other over ethnic differences and a tussle for power at the expense of the people of war-torn South Sudan.
The signing of a revitalized peace agreement by all parties to the conflict in South Sudan is a significant step forward in the process of ending the ongoing violence and the immense suffering of their people, says the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, spoke at the signing ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, today.
DAVID MAJUR AWUOU/FILIP ANDERSSON
Peace shall henceforth prevail between the two clans of Ater and Pale in the Greater Jonglei region. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan played a crucial role in enabling the successful peace dialogue between the former foes.
The two clans, based in the Anyidi and Makuach counties, have been at loggerheads with each other over the grazing lands and cattle camps along the Nile River.
South Sudan is the world’s newest nation. Its 12 million population are also amongst the youngest in the world with half aged under 18.
Children often suffer most from the ongoing conflict, with many maimed or killed, suffering from sexual violence or being forcibly recruited into armed groups.
During a week-long visit to South Sudan, the United Nation’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, met many children and young people to hear how the violence has affected them.
The Panawur and Panaguong sections of Duony County in Gok have signed an agreement committing themselves to ceasing hostilities, bringing an end to 15 years of attacks and revenge killings.
The agreement was endorsed on Thursday by community leaders, county and state authorities and witnessed by a large audience in Cueibet town. Chiefs and intellectuals were spotted in the rejoicing crowd, with Victoria Amal, a local woman who partook in the celebrations explaining the significance of the event.
The finding of a military court that 10 soldiers were guilty of committing violence against civilians at the Terrain Hotel in Juba, South Sudan, has finally delivered justice for the survivors and the family of the journalist murdered in the attack.
The judges delivered their verdict today and handed down lengthy prison terms for murder, rape and other crimes. The court also ordered the government to pay damages to the victims.
SAMUEL ADWOK DENG
Carpentry, brick laying, perhaps a spot of hairdressing. Or why not give connecting electrical or solar-powered devices a crack? Back in April, such a veritable vocational training smorgasbord was up for grabs for 115 young men and women in Malakal.
Now they have graduated. They are raring to go, to take on the world with their new skills, and to support themselves and their families in the process.
CPI SECTION / SPOKESPERSON
Almost 3,500 internally displaced people have been successfully relocated from the UN Protection of Civilians site in Juba to a new site within the community in a joint effort between the United Nations Mission in South Sudan and humanitarian agencies.
Ceasefire monitors and an integrated team of the UN Mission in South Sudan(UNMISS) have gained access to the conflict-affected counties of Baggari and Mboro near Wau after two months of restrictions due to armed clashes in the area.
The traveling party reached Baggari and Fallajalla on 28 August. The normally fairly busy area, they observed, was now largely deserted, with only a few civilians emerging from overgrown grass, like an exuberant rainbow through the leaden clouds after an overpoweringly soil-soaking South Sudanese downpour.
Consultations with people displaced from their homes and sheltering in protection sites in Wau town reveal that inadequate housing and a lack of basic services and security remain factors that hinder them from returning to their homes.
Ethnic communities living in the Boma area were recently mobilized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to perform joint cultural dances in a bid to promote peace and dialogue.
Tangible success was there for all to see, according to John Kaka, a young man who participated in the festivities.
“We use to fight and kill ourselves during youth fighting, but today that is not the case. We are one people and we need peace and development within our community”, he said.
Youths in Leer in the Southern Liech area have stated that they would like to engage youngsters from both government- and opposition-controlled parts of the region in a peace forum, preferably to be organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
“We urged UNMISS Civil Affairs Division to conduct the same peace forum with youths belonging to the opposition in their areas so that the young people can understand the important of peace,” says Simon Kot, a representative of the youth in Leer.
ZENEBE TEKLEWOLD | With the UN, humanitarian actors and ceasefire monitors still being denied access to conflict-affected areas to the west and southwest of Wau, it is likely that the situation for remaining residents has deteriorated.
Knowing the exact nature of the security and humanitarian situation in areas like Baggari, Bazia and Mboro is impossible, with no access having been permitted since the second week of June, when clashes in these locations erupted.
UNMISS “Protection of Civilians” (PoC) Sites
As of 23 August 2018, a total of number of civilians seeking safety in six Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites located on UNMISS bases is 198,086 including 114,652 in Bentiu, 24,415 in Malakal, 39,199 in Juba UN House, 2,300 in Bor, and 147 in UNMISS base and 17,733 in the area adjacent to UNMISS in Wau “.
By Janet Adongo
Their task was daunting. Upon first inspection of what was left of one of the tarmacs at the Malakal airport, the gallant Indian peacekeepers serving the United Nations Mission in South Sudan were met by huge cracks.
This particular section of the Malakal runway, also laden with significantly-sized craters, had remained untouched by landing wheels and passengers since 2013, when the crisis broke out.