Press release: UNMISS “committed to creating conditions of peace and security”
The newly arrived head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), David Shearer, has said that the mission is “committed to helping the South Sudanese create the conditions of peace and security,” that internally displaced people need in order to feel confident about returning home.
Mr Shearer was speaking on Wednesday during his first field trip outside the capital, Juba, in the town of Wau, where some 41,000 people are sheltering after fleeing their homes due to insecurity.
“The internally displaced people in Wau urgently need to return to their land ahead of the planting season in April and May,” he said. “If they do not there will be no harvest and they will be further dependent on aid.”
He added that UNMISS can support the country’s peace process, but that “ultimately peace and stability is something that the South Sudanese need to create.”
On Tuesday, Mr Shearer visited Rumbek town in Western Lakes State, where insecurity has been heightened by longstanding patterns of cattle raiding.
He met UN peacekeepers who have rehabilitated over 250 kilometres of roads, noting how important transport infrastructure is for the development of South Sudan. He added that “the supply of humanitarian aid as well as business and trade all depends on having a good road infrastructure, but the key is to first bring peace to the country.”
In both Rumbek and Wau, Mr Shearer held meetings with the respective state governors and members of the legislature. He also listened to the concerns of internally displaced people.