Peacekeepers, civilians attacked in Unity State
A UNMISS Convoy in South Sudan: File photo
By Kidega Livingstone
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has strongly condemned an armed attack that directly targeted its peacekeepers in Unity State Tuesday morning.
According to a statement from the UNMISS, a convoy consisting of peacekeepers and civilians came under fire when it stopped briefly to interact with civilians in Rubkway, about 20 kilometres north of Leer town.
The team of the peacekeepers was on a short patrol from the Mission’s Leer Temporary Operations Base to Thaker in Mayendit County. It was not clear which group of the armed forces attacked the covey and civilians.
No one was injured in the incident, and so far, no damage to the vehicles has been identified, the mission said.
“UNMISS strongly condemns this attack against its personnel and calls on all parties to respect the freedom of movement of UN personnel carrying out their mandate, and to cooperate with the peacekeepers as they work to protect civilians; monitor human rights; create a conducive environment for delivery of humanitarian aid, and support efforts to restore peace,” the office of UNMISS spokesperson said.
Leer area has been the scene of heightened insecurity in recent weeks, as humanitarian agencies working in the area continue to report that more people are still fleeing for their lives amidst sharp escalation in fighting and attacks on civilians.
UNMISS has boosted its peacekeeping contingent into the area, flying in additional soldiers and airlifting in armoured personnel carriers to assist with patrolling in affected villages to better protect civilians.
The Mission said it continues to engage with local authorities and to urge the warring parties to stop the fighting and adhere to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed by all parties just over five months ago.