May 15, 2014(UN) — The UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) reported heavy deployments of government and pro- government forces in the country’s northern Unity state, a UN spokesperson said on Wednesday.
UNMISS reported that despite shooting Wednesday morning in the state capital of Bentiu and Rubkona, which forced a closure of airport for several hours, the situation has otherwise remained calm, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said at a daily briefing at the UN headquarters in New York.
The mission also reported heavy deployments of government and pro-government forces in both areas, said Dujarric, who added that currently more than 23,000 civilians are being protected at the UN site in Bentiu.
Incidents of fighting between Sudan People’s Liberation Army ( SPLA) and opposition forces in parts of Unity and Upper Nile state over last weekend violated a ceasefire deal agreed on May 9 by President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar.
The deal was aimed to resolve the five-month-old crisis in the world’s youngest country that has claimed thousands of lives, left nearly 5 million in need of humanitarian assistance and led to atrocities being committed by both sides.
UNMISS also strongly condemned the looting of medical equipment and supplies and called on the parties to respect and protect medical facilities and personnel, and those who are sick or wounded, the spokesperson said.
Other tensions within the Bentiu protection site include threats and physical assault against contractors guarding UN facilities on Monday and Tuesday. The mission said peacekeepers were called in to defuse the situation.