UNMISS peacekeepers conduct air patrol to Ajakuac, discuss security and humanitarian concerns with communities
WARRAP - For the past few years, South Sudan has not merely suffered from the worst flooding in nearly 60 years but also soaring sub-national violence. Against this backdrop, the world’s newest nation is struggling to consolidate a peace deal and hold free, fair, credible elections.
For its part, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is doing all it can to support the people and the Government to reduce tensions, protect civilians and ensure peace processes stay on track.
During a recent air patrol conducted by the UN Peacekeeping mission to Ajakuac in Twic county, Warrap state, Blue Helmets interacted with community members who are reeling from climate shocks and conflict.
“The flooding has literally unmoored us,” revealed Nyadhial Tut, a resident of Unity state, which has been hard hit by repeated climate shocks. “Our search for dry ground led us to Ajakuac first, following which we went to Aneet. But unfortunately, conflict followed us. Violence broke out in Aneet during February, and we were once again displaced. I used to be healthy and now I am malnourished,” she added.
Ajakuac is located on the border between Unity and the Abyei Administrative Area and frequently impacted by cross-border cattle raids as well as intercommunal conflict.
UNMISS peacekeepers visiting the area were focused on examining the needs of the displaced community as well as finding enduring solutions to these ongoing skirmishes.
The UN Peacekeeping mission’s push for harmony among warring groups was echoed by community members.
“We are prepared to do everything to usher in a lasting peace,” revealed community leader Tol Makol to Blue Helmets.
“But we need the government to initiate long-term measures. This cannot be actioned by communities alone. We need support,” he added eloquently.
South Sudan’s long rainy season has exacerbated the situation in this volatile interface between two states and their neighbours in Abyei.
“Roads are so waterlogged that humanitarian partners are unable to reach us, preventing the supply of lifesaving aid. Our clinics have no medicines, food is in short supply as is shelter,” explained Deng Malor, coordinator of the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in Ajakuac.
“Many displaced persons camps in our area haven’t received humanitarian aid since February. We hope the advent of the dry season will help our partners ameliorate some of the suffering,” he added.
Kuajok-based UNMISS Civil Affairs Officer, Georgina Brobby, assured community members of the UN family’s continued support and urged them to hold up terms from prior peace negotiations to ensure that tensions among feuding parties are reduced.
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Ajakuac and neighboring regions because of heavy flooding since June.
UNMISS has been monitoring the security situation closely through intensive patrols and initiating dialogue-based reconciliation activities among hostile parties.