Juba, South Sudan,
June 24,2021 — The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) confirmed that the mission will re-establish a peacekeeping barrack for the UN-Ghanaians forces in Koch County of Unity to mitigate senseless violence and inter-communal conflicts in the Area.
The Ghanaian peacekeepers are establishing a base in Koch County for the second time in what the mission believes will bring peace and harmony between the local communities.
Speaking to media, the Deputy County commissioner, Mr. Gordon Gatkuoth Ruot, said the impact of the UN presence in the Area has been positive.
“We used to have many incidents of cattle raids, revenge and random killings, harassment of humanitarian workers and robberies, but now we receive a lot less reports about these things taking place,” says Gordon Gatkuoth Ruot, Deputy County Commissioner.
During a recent visit to Koch, Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar, the Force Commander of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, explained the objective of the deployment of the blue helmets in Koch county.
“The area in and around Koch has been unstable of late with early warnings of possible conflict,” he said, adding that the presence of UN troops can deter potential fighting.
He believes that the peacekeepers at the temporary base consistently engage the community leaders and members to build trust and confidence, and to spread messages of peace and reconciliation across the county and beyond.
“We have been having a difficult time lately, with an air of unpredictability looming over the area, “said Kuony Tap, an elder from nearby Patit village. “However, since UNMISS peacekeepers started patrolling and engaging with communities living here, the situation has improved. We can move freely and go about our daily tasks without fear,” he added.
The re-establishment; however, has been far from easy for those calling the temporary operating base a home away from home.
According to Captain Sulbein, the commander of the Koch base, the Ghanians troops are facing a lot of new challenges that include poor infrastructure, weather and resupply of basic needs.
“The Ghanaian troops are facing a lot of hardships during the wet season because of the lack of roads and temporary infrastructure. Resupplying their rations takes time, with incessant rains making it harder to move, yet our soldiers monitoring the situation daily to make sure that tensions don’t increase,” said Captain Sulbein, commander of the Koch base.
The temporary operating base is likely to be stationed in Koch for a considerable period of time to make sure that sustainable calm in the area prevails.
The mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan was extended by the United Nations Security Council last month for another one year as South Sudan continue to show no signs of durable peace and stability, and therefore, the Koch barrack could stay for at least one year.