Humanitarian aid restored in Aburoc following deployment of UNMISS peacekeepers
“We are here, because you are here.” These were words spoken by Kenny Rogers the Humanitarian Affairs Officer for OCHA in Malakal in response to the temporary deployment of peacekeepers from the UNMISS in Aburoc, Upper Nile region. “We left because of the insecurity of humanitarians on the ground and we have returned because there’s a feeling that because troops from the UNMISS RwanBatt, we can safely provide humanitarian assistance once again,” he added.
An estimated 20,000 IDP’s fled during the recent conflict between government and opposition forces in Kodok, Tonga, Wau Shilluk, Orinyi and other areas, and have settled in Aburoc. Since the return of humanitarian agencies, about 4200 households have received shelter materials and non-food items through the efforts of ICRC. Other humanitarian agencies are also on the ground responding to the most urgent needs of the population. One of the major challenges facing the IDPs in the desolate area is access to clean drinkable water, which is key in averting a cholera crisis. Besides providing security to the humanitarian agencies, the UNMISS forces are also tasked with guarding water points and escorting convoys of water trucks bringing in safe drinking water for the thousands in need.
The Head of Field office for the UNMISS in Malakal, Hazel De Wet, led a team to inspect the deployment of the troops in Aburoc. The team also engaged with local authorities on the ground on the rationale of the deployment of the troops to support the provision of humanitarian assistance. “Our priority is to provide protection to humanitarian agencies and humanitarian workers who had previously relocated following attacks in Kodok and Wau Shilluk,” she said.
On May 7th Peacekeeping troops were urgently deployed to Aburoc in the Upper Nile region by the UNMISS to avert a humanitarian crisis and help enable the delivery of much needed assistance.