UNMISS SRSG returns from two-day field visit to Bentiu and Leer
Statement Attributable to the Office of the Spokesperson
United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)
Juba, 9 February, 2017
The head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), David Shearer, returned to Juba on Thursday from a two-day field visit to Bentiu and Leer, two towns which have been amongst the most affected by the country’s conflict.
In Bentiu, he met state government officials, as well as internally displaced people who are living in the largest protection of civilians site in the country.
In Leer, he visited the mission’s temporary operating base to assess UNMISS’ success in mounting robust patrols which push the mission’s presence deep into the field.
He held discussions with local officials and also took the opportunity to travel to an opposition-controlled area to meet with pro-Machar representatives so he could hear all shades of opinion on how to facilitate humanitarian assistance and advance the peace process.
The local opposition told Mr Shearer that they support the current localized cessation of hostilities and remain in a defensive position which they hope will encourage the return of humanitarian agencies to Leer.
Both the local authorities and the opposition praised the UN for its efforts to facilitate communications between them.
Mr Shearer heard that they both recognize that an inclusive national dialogue will assist the peace process.