Thousands of civilians arrived at two UNMISS compounds in Juba, following fighting that broke out in the national capital on 15 December, and hundreds sought temporary shelter in Bor as they fled from sporadic shootings associated with the violence in Juba.
Among the civilians seeking refuge in both capitals were pregnant women. Eight of them delivered their babies at UNMISS health facilities run by military peacekeepers in Juba. In Bor, 24-year-old Margaret Amer had a baby boy at the UNMISS clinic run by Indian peacekeepers.
According to Ms. Amer, she arrived at the compound in Bor late in the evening from a nearby military barracks in Pakou. Soon after her arrival, she went into labour and, with care from the Indian medical workers, delivered her son.
“I am very happy to have a new baby and I would like to express my gratitude to UNMISS and its medical officers,” she said, adding that the clinic had provided her with free medicine and meals.
Ms. Amer said that if she had not arrived at the compound in time, she would have had to deliver her child in the bush, risking the lives of both herself and the baby.
She said, however, that she was worried about her husband Peter Loman, a South Sudan National Police Service officer, who she had left behind in the barracks.
Dr. Purabi Khamkar, an Indian medical officer who assisted with the delivery, said Mrs. Amer would be discharged today with a one-month supply of free medication.
Anita Mongane, an UNMISS Protection of Civilian Advisor in Bor, said that at least 500 civilians had spent the night at the mission’s compound. Most of them left the compound voluntarily once the situation had returned to normal