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IDPs accuse UNMISS of negligence after POC killings

Author: Emmanuel Akile | Published: Wednesday, June 17, 2020

File: UNMISS personnel conducting a security sweep in its Juba camp. PHOTO//UNMISS/Isaac Bill

Internally displaced persons at the UN camp in Juba have condemned the UN Mission in South Sudan  for “failing to protect them” from random killings.

The IDPs say a young man was shot dead while walking to his tent between POC 1 and POC 3 on Monday evening.

Similarly, a 41-year old man shot between camp 1 and camp 3 while returning home in that evening.

He later succumbed to his wounds inside the camp.

And the latest internally displaced person identified as Ayiik Majok shot dead around the cemetery near the UN camp in Juba on Tuesday afternoon.

The IDPs say all these incidents have continued to happen despite the presence of peacekeepers along the perimeters of the fence of the UN camps.

Majok Yen, a youth leader at the Protection of Civilians site 3 in Juba, said UNMISS has done little to ensure the safety of people moving between the camps during the night.

“People are being killed and they [peacekeepers] are watching. What is the reason for having UNMISS troops here if they cannot protect us?” Yen asked.

“We are asking UN higher authorities to intervene and ensure that IDP areas are protected from crimes.”

In a statement to Eye Radio, the UN mission stated that it is very concerned about the shooting of displaced civilians living in the POC site.

The Chief of Communications & Public Information, Francesca Mold said that the mission will be investigating the incident.

“The Mission is investigating the incident as well as recent fighting between different communities within the camp which appears to be a reflection of tensions in other parts of the country,” UNMISS Chief of Communications & Public Information said.

“While UNMISS immediately responds to these incidents and investigates, people living within the POC site also need to take responsibility for the actions of their communities.”

“UNMISS consistently works with POC leaders on crime prevention and is encouraging communities to work together to ensure the camp is safe for all those living within it.”

UNMISS was established in July 2011, by the United Nations Security Council Resolution.

Its mandate is the protection of civilians threatened by violence, creating conditions to deliver humanitarian aid, and supporting the implementation of the peace agreement.

The mission is also authorized by the UN Security Council to use all necessary means to protect civilians, monitor, and investigate human rights, and create conditions suitable for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

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