Arrival of Nepalese peacekeepers in Torit strengthens UN presence across Eastern Equatoria
The arrival of 150 Nepalese peacekeepers in Torit is enabling the United Nation to extend its presence through increased patrols across the eastern Equatorian region of South Sudan to help protect civilians and build durable peace.
The Nepalese company is strengthening the United Nations Mission in South Sudan’s ability to react to the unpredictable and volatile security situation, characterized by the intermittent outbreak of conflict and recurrent tensions across Imatong and Kapoeta.
Their presence is also boosting the ability of the Mission to facilitate peace talks in the region. A recent long distance patrol to Chahari and Lobira allowed UNMISS’ Civil Affairs Division to carry out a peace dialogue and training that resulted in 30 community members forming a Community Peace Committee.
Another long distance patrol enabled UNMISS’ Human Rights Division to hold Human Rights Day celebrations and a forum on human rights and gender-based violence. Meanwhile, dynamic aerial patrols and short distance patrols are now scheduled for several key locations across Eastern Equatoria.
UNMISS Head of Field Office in Torit, Mary Cummins, highlighted the benefits of having an additional company in Torit.
"Now that the Nepalese battalion has arrived and settled in, we are able to expand the UN’s presence and improve situational awareness since we can move outside of Torit more frequently. In future, we hope to establish routines for regular patrols in the town and also initiate night patrols to bolster security in Torit during the evening. The new company allows us to take a flexible and nimble approach in responding to emergent security challenges," she said.
Prior to the arrival of the Nepalese company, UNMISS Torit had limited capability to respond and carry out patrols with only one company of 150 Rwandan peacekeepers. Mounting tensions between opposition and government forces last July, just 10 kilometres Southwest of Torit near Motti, prompted the temporary 2-week deployment of a Nepalese company that helped mitigate conflict and stabilize the situation. The effective response that was possible due to having two companies prepared to respond, led UNMISS to deploy the additional Nepalese company for a longer period to achieve operational priorities.
Their continued presence will help UNMISS boost security in order to create a safe and stable environment for the South Sudanese people.