UNMISS welcomes improved security conditions in Juba
UNMISS has observed a noticeable improvement in security conditions in much of Juba today. The Mission lifted restrictions on the movement of its personnel this morning. It has resumed patrols on a limited basis in the city itself and it restored flight service to and from the Ugandan city of Entebbe. Life in the centre of town is returning back to relative normalcy. The safety of civilians in the South Sudanese capital remains a concern, however, especially on the city’s outskirts.
“We call on the Government of South Sudan to do its utmost to end any continuing violence, make sure that all civilians feel safe all over the city, regardless of their communal background. This will also permit civilians in our camps to return home,” said Hilde F. Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary General to South Sudan.
Security conditions in the Jonglei State capital of Bor have deteriorated significantly during the course of the day. UNMISS has received reports that heavy fighting erupted in the city in the wee hours of this morning and continued for four hours. The violence triggered an exodus of civilians out of Bor, and thousands have sought shelter at the Mission’s compound on the southeastern outskirts of the city.
As is the case in Juba, UNMISS is providing water, sanitation facilities and medical care to civilians who have taken refuge in its Bor compound. A limited number of tents have been erected to house some of these civilians. Late this afternoon, UNMISS staff members reported that heavy weapons fire erupted in a neighborhood of Bor about a kilometer away from the Mission’s compound.
As of this morning, almost 20 000 civilians were staying in the two UNMISS compounds and in the compound of the World Food Programme in Juba. The UN is making every effort to ensure the safety of these civilians during their stay in the facilities, and they have been receiving water supplies since their arrival.
UNMISS again calls on all parties to the violence to exercise restraint and seek a peaceful way out of the current crisis.