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UN deploys troops to deter communal killings in Lakes state

The UNPOL and Military components of the UNMISS conduct a sweep for weapons and contraband in the Protection of Civilian site 3 neighboring the UN base, Jebel area, Juba

December 3rd 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said on Tuesday in a statement that it has deployed additional troops to the country’s Lakes state to deter communal fighting which has recently killed over 79 people.

The UN said the Nepalese troops based in the town of Rumbek were flown by helicopter, after heavy rains rendered roads impassable, to Maper, 100 km (60 miles) to the north to provide a “protective presence” in the area.

“Seventy-five United Nations peacekeepers have been temporarily re-deployed from Rumbek to Maper to deter further violence between communities in the northern Lakes region of South Sudan,” the UNMISS said in a statement seen by the Nyamilepedia on Tuesday.

The deployment of Nepalese troops serving with the  UNMISS “follows reports from local authorities that as many as 79 people have been killed and a further 101 injured in a series of communal clashes and revenge attacks between the Gak and Manuer communities, about 100 kilometers north of Rumbek.”

“While political violence has largely subsided in South Sudan since the signing of the revitalized peace agreement in September 2018, intercommunal clashes continue to result in the killing and injuring of civilians, cattle raiding and the looting of property.”

Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS, David Shearer urged the communities to refrain from violence and forge a friendly mean to solving the differences.

“This fighting must stop. We are urging the communities involved and their leaders to put an end to the violence and to come together in reconciliation and peace for the good of their people,” Shearer said.

The statement further said the UN mission was “also flying in heavy equipment, including vehicles, to enable the peacekeepers to travel more easily between the remote communities. The troops will continue to patrol the area in the coming weeks to provide a protective presence.

“The UNMISS Force Commander and the Head of the Mission’s Field Office in Rumbek along with human rights and civil affairs staff also travelled to Maper yesterday to assess the security situation. They were welcomed by local authorities and community members who indicated a willingness to take part in mediation and peace-building activities supported by UNMISS.”

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