The United Nations Mission of South Sudan [UNMISS] has handed over the Bentiu protection site to Unity State’s government. The State governor and UN representative witnessed the handing over ceremony to South Sudan, David Shiera.
The Governor of Unity State, Dr. Joseph Nguen Monytuil, said the government and the UN agreed and signed a memorandum of understanding. He stated that SPLM-IO field commander met with him on the sideline to form joint security forces who will be deployed and patrolling all counties.
United Nations had established Protection of Civilians sites POCs] following the fighting in 2013. Many civilians run for their safety to the UN compound in Juba, Malakal, Bentiu, Bor, Rumbek, and Wau. Bentiu PoC is a home to over 100 thousand people displaced by the conflict.
Monyuil explained the keys element of the MoU is “provision for maximum protection of civilians.
The is also a need to provide technical support for the joint security from the government and SPLM-IO to be deployed soon.
Governor says the government will officially take over camp responsible next week. But, humanitarians’ organizations will still work on the site to provide aid assistant to IDPs.
“The message is simply that the government is very keen to provide maximum security and also to provide services as well as peace evident,” Nguen reiterated.
Authority promised to maintain their mandates focusing on protecting civilians without forcing anyone against his or her wills to leave the camp.
The UNMISS head in Bentiu, Hiroko Hirahara, said the POC site transition to ordinary IDPS camp is imminent and preparation is underway. He stated that an agreement between the state government and the UN was signed to ensure IDPs’ safety and security. The UNMISS promised to respond to some of the serious crimes.
UNMISS started handing over the POCs to the government last year after its formation of the Unity government. The IDPs criticized the decision, who cited a lack of faith from the government’s security forces.
During six years of conflict, Human Rights Watch reported about 60 civilians killed in Unity State, mostly women, children, and the elderly.