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UN Representative Shearer wants to team up with Dr. Machar to persuade the IDPs

Oct 26, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan’s First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, met the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, David Shearer, earlier today at his residence in the capital, Juba.

UNMISS head and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General David Shearer meets Dr. Riek Machar Teny, South Sudan's First Vice President(Photo credit: UNMISS/Nyamilepedia)
UNMISS head and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General David Shearer meets Dr. Riek Machar Teny, South Sudan’s First Vice President(Photo credit: UNMISS/Nyamilepedia)

Speaking to media after the meeting, the Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan said the two leaders discussed the need for him and Machar to jointly address the IDPs on the current transition that the UNMISS is making.

Worried that the IDPs do not accept the UN decision to withdraw forces, Shearer believes that if the two leaders jointly address the IDPs, they may heed to his assurance that humanitarian services will continue.

“Key issues discussed by them included the need to jointly reassure displaced people that ongoing transitions to conventional IDP camps does not mean anyone will be forced to leave. Humanitarian services will continue.” David Shearer said.

In addition, to the IDPs grievances, the two leaders also discussed the upcoming infrastructure development by UNMISS which includes the rehabilitation of Jonglei and Pibor roads.

“[Key issues discussed include] upcoming infrastructure development by UNMISS which includes rehabilitating roads in Jonglei and Pibor.”

The two leaders also discussed progress in the ongoing implementation of the peace deal.

While the UNMISS decision to withdraw forces is being resisted by the IDPs, it is well welcomed by the Salva Kiir administration which has been critical of the UN role in protecting the IDPs.

Although the IDPs may listen to Machar, the SPLM/A-IO chairman is reserved on this position.

Also read: UN Special Representative meets Dr. Machar to address withdrawal of the UN Peacekeepers

In the previous meeting on the same issue in September, Dr. Machar raised concerns for the need of continued protection of the sites but also argued that the UNMISS should continue to provide the basic needs.

“The meeting discussed the importance of the protection of the sites until when adequate preparations are made to resettle the IDPs and voluntarily move them to their private residences or home areas.” Read part of the statement from Machar’s office.

“They also discussed the importance of continuity of the provision of basic needs by NGOs to the POC sites as preparations are being made by the government in building confidence for them to return to their homes or resettle in the future.” Machar’s spokesman write.

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