Juba, South Sudan,
June 22, 2021 – The almost-forgotten residents of Lasu village in Yei River County of Eastern Equatoria State have been offered a lifeline after the United Nations Mission in South Sudan established a medical camp where over 500 patients are reportedly treated.
Living at the border between South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNMISS says the residents in the village have long lived in fear of being caught up in clashes between different armed groups in the area.
The establishment of the medical facility was, according to the UN Mission, part of an effort to restore a sense of hope, trust, and security in the community.
In a statement seen by Nyamilepedia, the medical camp organized by Nepalese peacekeepers and benefitting more than 500 men, women, and children in need of healthcare has also been organized and well received.
UNMISS says the residents offered a piece of land that will be used by soldiers for agriculture and extend surplus in food production to the local community.
“In the face of widespread food insecurity, one way of assisting both civilians and government troops has been the peacekeeping mission’s recent distribution of high-yielding seeds and farming tools,” it says.
“The local community handed over land to the army, where the soldiers would be able to grow their own food. In return, the army is sharing their surplus with Lasu residents, thus building a bridge of confidence and trust that has long been missing,” added the UN Mission.
Brig. Gen. Jai Singh Bainsla, the UN peacekeeping mission’s Commander for Sector South, called the development a “humble beginning”.
“We promised the people of Lasu that we would do all we can to assist them, and now, today with the cooperation of the communities living here, we have been able to make at least a humble beginning,” Singh was quoted by the UNMISS website to have said.
“These initiatives, however small they may be, go a long way to cement the trust and faith that local communities have in the peacekeeping mission,” he added.
Yei River County is one of the areas ravaged by armed ambushes in South Sudan. Like Lainya, Yei is a county where armed forces loyal to different political movements clashed in recent days.