New York (IINA) � United Nations Special Envoy and Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) David Shearer described the lack of information about the situation of some 20,000 internally displaced people on the west bank of the Nile in the country’s north, as a real problem.
We want to find out what has happened to those people, and provide them with assistance if they need it, said Shearer, who was making his first field trip to the South Sudanese town of Malakal after taking up his position as UNMISS chief four weeks ago.
According to a press statement issued Thursday by the Mission, UNMISS believes that the 20,000 people have fled toward Kodok from Wau Shilluk, a town eight miles north of the UN base in Malakal on the west bank of the River Nile.
Fighting between the Government forces -Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) – and opposition forces has expanded geographically across the west bank over the past week, and shows no signs of abating, forcing more people to flee their homes.
On Thursday, UN peacekeepers attempted to carry out a foot patrol to Wau Shilluk, but were prevented from doing so by SPLA soldiers located at Wau Shilluk, a situation Shearer described as very frustrating.
Meanwhile, the statement noted that UNMISS has described government relocations by air of internally displaced people through the capital Juba into Malakal as unsustainable if they are not also supported with humanitarian assistance on arrival.
The Shilluk population of Malakal has abandoned the town and 33,000 people are currently taking refuge in the camp administered by UNMISS, according to UN News.
Source: International Islamic News Agency