Civilians arrive to a shelter at the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) compound on the outskirts of Juba, South Sudan on December 17, 2013. PHOTO | REUTERS


The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said Thursday it has stepped up efforts to maintain peace in Malakal town, Upper Nile State, following the death of several people last week due to violence.

UNMISS said it will continue to support efforts to protect civilians and maintain calm through intensive patrols and engagement with affected communities.

Nicholas Haysom, special representative of the UN secretary-general and head of UNMISS, said in a statement issued in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, that the situation is currently calm but fragile.

"We appreciate the coordination and close partnerships with national, state and local authorities which played an important role in ensuring that further escalations in violence do not take place and that people are able to resume their daily activities safely," Haysom said.

The clashes erupted on May 30 between the Dinka and Shilluk communities over the disputed Akoka area, with armed Dinka men attacking and killing four Shilluk fishermen who were under civilian protection.

In retaliation, the Shilluk community moved out of the UN Protection of Civilians Site and killed a driver belonging to the Dinka community in Malakal town.

The UN mission commended the swift and ongoing responses by state authorities and government security forces to reduce tensions and keep communities safe.

UNMISS said its working closely with government partners and has proactively deployed peacekeepers in and around the UN Protection of Civilians Site in Malakal to make sure displaced people are secure. 

Source: https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/tea/news/east-africa/un-steps-up-efforts-to-maintain-peace-in-south-sudan-4650046