UNMISS seeks access to orphanage caught in between warring parties in Torit
The United Nations is today attempting to access an orphanage caught between South Sudanese government and opposition forces who have taken up battle positions near the town of Torit in Eastern Equatoria.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has repeatedly been denied access to the orphanage by local authorities on the ground. However, permission has now been granted by the central command of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in Juba and peacekeepers will again attempt to visit the area today.
The Head of UNMISS and Special Representative of the Secretary-General, David Shearer is urging both sides to reflect on the message of peace expressed by South Sudan President Salva Kiir on Independence Day and to withdraw from the area.
“It’s unacceptable that 250 innocent children, and the people who care for them, find themselves in no-man’s land between the warring parties,” he said.
UNMISS has responded to the escalating tension in the area by deploying a contingent of Nepalese peacekeepers to Torit from Juba to protect civilians and the nearby UN base.