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11 Dec 2014
Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Ellen Margrethe Løj. Photo: UNMISS
All services to a site where civilians fleeing conflict in South Sudan are protected by UN peacekeepers in the country’s capital, Juba, will stop at the end of December.
The announcement was made by the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan, (UNMISS) Ellen Margrethe Lǿj, at a press conference in Juba on Thursday.
She said the past 12 months will be remembered as the time when UNMISS opened its bases to civilians facing threats of physical violence, and many lives were saved by this action.
“All services to the protection site in Tongpiny will be halted at the end of this month and we hope that the remaining population of internally displaced persons will either go back home or relocate to a similar site near the Yei Road where over 10,000 IDPs have already moved in recent months.” (22″)
Ms Lǿj stressed that while UNMISS will do its best to foster and promote the safe return of displaced people, it should not be forgotten that it is the government of South Sudan that has the ultimate responsibility to protect civilians.
The conflict that broke out between government and rebel forces in South Sudan in December 2013 has forced over 1.9 million people to flee their homes, and over 100,000 of them sought refuge in UN bases.
Stephanie Castro, United Nations