Twic County residents call for more UNMISS support to fight COVID-19

29 Jun 2020

Twic County residents call for more UNMISS support to fight COVID-19

Stanley McGill

Residents of Twic County, Warrap State are urging the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to increase its assistance in fighting the Coronavirus.

They made their call when a team from the peacekeeping mission visited the area to assess the general security situation and humanitarian conditions, and also to further inform the local population on ways to keep themselves safe from contracting the COVID-19 virus.

“This Coronavirus is real and deadly. We must all work together to prevent it from spreading among the local population”, Ambrose Adhar Tong, a primary healthcare provider in the Twic area, said, adding that more support from the UN would be welcome.

He said it would be helpful if the campaign to educate the local population on preventive COVID-19 measures could be extended to remote villages, including cattle camps.

“The youths in cattle camps are the ones that really need this education, because adequate hygiene is poorly practiced among them,” he stressed. A lack of personal protective equipment, proper hand washing stations and sanitizers were pinpointed as other challenges should the disease spread among the local population.

Another issue looked into during the visit was the general security situation including the deployment status of organized forces (the South Sudan National Police Service and the South Sudan People’s Defense Force). The patrolling team also assessed humanitarian conditions in the region, including how many schools and health care facilities that were currently operational.

Local authorities described the security situation as calm, but expressed worries about repeated inter-communal raids that have led to a loss of lives and several thousand herds of cattle being stolen in the process.

“Right now, we have government forces deployed in the region, but they are not enough to contain the cattle raiding”, one local authority person.

Deplorable road conditions in the region are also contributing to the poor healthcare delivery system as the regular supply of essential drugs is being impeded.

UNMISS Military Observers Lieutenant Colonel Jubalani Mulambo and Major Kailash Maithaini asked the community leaders to encourage dialogues as the way of solving arising disputes.

“We will continue to work with you as we fight the spread of the Coronavirus while at the same time pushing for lasting peace across the entire country,” the observes vowed.