[Juba, South Sudan, RT] The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said it has relocated almost 3500 internally displaced people from the UN Protection of Civilians site in Juba to a new site within the community in collaboration with aid agencies.
“This is the first movement of displaced people of this magnitude out of the UN Juba protection site. Almost all of those relocated were women and children,” said the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General, David Shearer. “They had expressed a strong desire to leave the UN site and to be reunited with their husbands and other family members. Early indications and, in my discussions with those who moved, is that they are pleased to be back in the wider community.”
The UN mission further said the combined effort to relocate the families to an existing site at Mangateen in the central city followed an UNMISS negotiated end to sporadic fighting between various groups within the UN protection camp over the past few weeks that threatened vulnerable civilians inside.
UNMISS explained that once a resolution was reached and people expressed a desire to leave, humanitarian agencies and UNMISS worked quickly and cooperatively to establish temporary housing at Mangateen along with clean water, sanitation and health services.
“All those involved in the relocation process realized the seriousness of the situation given the large number of vulnerable women and children being moved. It was a true team effort to carry out the massive logistical task of transporting and supporting these families in a new location within just a few days,” said David Shearer.
The Mangateen site is being managed by the South Sudan Government’s Relief and Rehabilitation Commission. Humanitarian agencies will provide additional assistance on request.
“I am particularly grateful for the Government’s rapid response to this situation which ensured that people were able to be safely moved and accommodated back in the community,” said David Shearer.
“Hundreds of thousands of people fled to UN protection sites across South Sudan out of fear for their lives during the ongoing conflict. But these camps are not a good long-term option for families,” said David Shearer. “If people have the trust and confidence that the environment is safe enough for them to voluntarily return home, UNMISS is poised to assist them. But providing that confidence in the security situation very much lies with the Government.”