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Peacekeepers Day:16 UN Workers Killed in South Sudan Since Jan

Author : Daniel Danis | Published: Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hilde Johnson is hosted by Eye Radio - May 29 2013.

May 29 is the International Day of United Nations Peace Keepers – a day when the UN honors those who have lost their lives.

Since 1948, over 3000 peace keeping soldiers have been killed on duty– this year alone sixteen peace keepers and support staff have been killed in South Sudan.

In an exclusive interview with Eye Radio, Madam Hilde Johnson, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, said the day has been dedicated “to the memory of peacekeepers and the Mission’s staffs who have lost their lives” while working in South Sudan.

Madam Johnson outline some of the achievements that UNMISS has made in the last two years:

“Throughout the last few months, we have been able to protect 12,000 people who have sought refuge in our bases – from inter-communal violence, from attacks and from other incidences, “said Madam Johnson. “We have also seen in the police sector a significant progress in reforming the police, where 650 of our police officers are actively engaged at all levels.”

Hilde Johnson clarified that UNMISS is not mandated to provide protection for civilians in Abyei area or protect the borders of South Sudan.

She said it is the role of UNISFA in Abyei to protect civilians, and the government to protect the territorial integrity of South Sudan.

In 2011, the UN Security Council established the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan saying that the situation faced by South Sudan continued to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region.

UNMISS was mandated to consolidate peace and security and to help establish conditions for development.

However, many south Sudanese citizens, including senior government officials have condemned UNMISS for allegedly doing little, particularly protection of civilians against a series of communal violence and raids mostly in the volatile Jonglei state.

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