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

Sep 15, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan’s First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, met the head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan(UNMISS) to address the withdrawal of the U.N. peacekeepers from the Protection of Civilians Site in South Sudan.

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)

According to the office of the First Vice President, Dr. Machar addressed the need to protect the internally displaced persons, however, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General seemed determined that the withdrawal must proceed.

“The First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar, and the head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), David Shearer, today discussed the need to continue the protection of internally displaced persons (IDPs) residing in the Protection of Civilians ( POC) sites.” Read part of a statement from Dr. Machar’s office.

“The UNMISS Chief, Shearer, briefed the First Vice President on the UN’s plan to redeploy its peacekeeping troops from the POCs to other areas.” Machar’s spokesman added.

Dr. Machar tried to convince Shearer of why the protection should be maintained until necessary measures are put in place for the IDPs to voluntarily move out of the camps; however, the head of UNMISS reiterated that the withdrawal will proceed but it will be gradual.

“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.

Addressing the media, the Special Representative clarified on his part that the meeting also addressed other key factors such as violence in Jonglei State, peace implementation and gradual withdrawal of the peacekeepers.

“Earlier today, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of #UNMISS, David Shearer, met with First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar. They discussed key issues including the ongoing peace process in #SouthSudan, recent violence in the Jonglei region and the gradual transition of UN Protection of Civilian sites into conventional camps for internally displaced people.” UNMISS media report.

According to Dr. Machar’s office, the First Vice President also persuaded the head of UNMISS to ensure that provision of basic needs continue.

“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.

The decision by UNMISS to start withdrawing its peacekeepers from the Protection of Civilians Site has been a long battle between the government of President Kiir and the UNMISS, and at some points the government tried to persuade IDPs to leave the camps but not many of them volunteered to do so.

If peace is implemented, the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity is expected to provide rehabilitation and resettlement plans for the IDPs whose homes and property are either destroyed or occupied by new “owners” but so far the RTGoNU has not avail any concrete plan.

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