New York, US (PANA) - The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Friday said it had started sending troops and civilian experts to Jonglei state to help deter violence and foster reconciliation in the wake of recent ethnic clashes that have left at least 600 people dead.
PANA recalls that the fighting that began over a week ago between the Murle and Lou Nuer communities has also reportedly left 1,000 people wounded and led to the theft of tens of thousands of cattle.
A UN statement, made available to PANA in New York, stated that UNMISS peacekeepers
would work closely with members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), which had already started deploying to the affected areas.
``We stand ready to support the Government and state authorities with all their efforts to ensure that peace and stability are restored.
"And we are now deploying extra peacekeepers and roaming teams to the most vulnerable areas of Jonglei state to support their efforts. The safety and security of all of South Sudan’s peoples must come first and foremost,'' the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and head of UNMISS, Hilde Johnson, stated.
She also said that UNMISS surveillance flights over the conflict-affected areas were also
being conducted on a continuous daily basis.
She added that, ``they will provide information on the situation on the ground to support the government’s efforts to deter further outbreaks of inter-communal violence''.
Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, on Friday called on
the Government of South Sudan to restore security in the conflict-affected areas and to
ensure the protection of civilians.
``The High Commissioner urges the Government to work with both communities to promote
reconciliation and reminds the Government of its responsibility to protect, and to ensure
good governance, the rule of law and the upholding of human rights, as well as to take
necessary action to prevent inter-communal clashes and general instability throughout
the country,” Pillay said in a statement.
It also noted that the recent violence had also led to the kidnapping of more than 200 children, the burning of more than 7,900 houses and the displacement of many other people.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 26Aug2011