IDPs in Bentiu demonstrate withdrawal of UNMISS protection forces
Sep 28, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Internally displaced persons in Bentiu today held a peaceful demonstration to reject United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) decision to withdraw UN Peacekeepers who were mandated to protect the IDPs in Protection of civilians sites(PoCs) .
Speaking to media in Bentiu, Yuanis Gatnyang, the head of peace and reconciliation in the Bentiu camp, said the army is not unified and deployed to protect the civilians, and therefore it is premature for the UN to withdraw the peacekeepers.
“Today, we held a peaceful protest to reject the issue of peacekeepers to be removed from the protection sites in Juba, Bor, and Bentiu because the unified army is not yet formed and the state government hasn’t been formed fully. We did not come to the PoC to eat; we ran away from the same government that the UNMISS wants to protect us,” Yuanis Gatnyang, the head of peace and reconciliation in the Bentiu camp said, according told a local radio station.
Rup Bol Kolang, who is the chairman of Bentiu PoC IDP camp, said that the protest was to deliver the demand and concerns of the people.
“One of the main reasons as to why people protested today is the issues of security arrangements which are not implemented. The states are not complete, unified police have not graduated. If the UMISS withdraw it means, there will be no people in the PoC. If UNMISS is tired of South Sudanese people let them come and tell us so that everyone can find their way out,” Bol said.
On Friday, 25th September, UNMISS announced their decision to withdraw their soldiers from PoC camps following an assessment they had carried out.
From its assessment, UNMISS found that there has been no external threat to the camps since 2017.
The UNMISS head, David Shearer, reported that the IDPs are able to move in and out of the camp freely, go to work and school as they please as well as mingle with their friends from outside.
UNMISS said that it took a year to carefully plan the mission and the move has been taken in consultation with national and state authorities.
Mr. Boutche said that the government is ready to take over from UNMISS.
“The Government reassured the residents that they are ready to take over from UNMISS when it comes to safety and security of the people in the POC site,” said Mr. Boutche adding that “They will be in the front seat but UNMISS will be in the back seat to continue supporting them.”
Dorothy Nyambe, the UNMISS coordinator for Bor site assured IDPs that UNMISS will respond to any potential security issues at the camps with its Quick Reaction Forces should any need be.
“We will keep supporting the local police to protect and serve civilians; this is our mandate here in the IDP camp as well as all other camps in South Sudan. Most importantly, we are here for all civilians whenever and wherever they need us to help keep the peace,” she said.