By Deng Machol
The IDPs were relocated to an existing site at Mangateen residential area in the central city. The relocation comes after the UNMISS negotiated with communities in an effort to end sporadic fighting between the Nuer various clans within the UN protection site in Juba over the past weeks that seem threatened vulnerable civilians inside.
This comes after fighting erupted between two groups at the POC site in which almost 200 people were wounded and five reportedly killed. The clashes prompted the UNMISS to close the gates of the POC to separate the two groups. Humanitarian organizations also were not been able to deliver services to vulnerable IDPs and schools were also forced to close down.
“This is the first movement of displaced people of this magnitude out of the UN Juba protection site. Almost all of those relocated were women and children,” said David Shearer, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS.
This also comes after the IDPs had expressed a robust aspiration to leave the UN protection site and to reunite with their relatives.
“They had expressed a strong desire to leave the UN site and to be reunited with their husbands and other family members. Early indications and, in my discussions with those who moved, is that they are pleased to be back in the wider community,” Shearer said in the press release.
Once a resolution was reached and people expressed a desire to leave, humanitarian agencies and UNMISS worked quickly and cooperatively to establish temporary housing at Mangateen along with clean water, sanitation and health services.
“All those involved in the relocation process realized the seriousness of the situation given the large number of vulnerable women and children being moved. It was a true team effort to carry out the massive logistical task of transporting and supporting these families in a new location within just a few days,” Shearer said.
However, the Mangateen residential site, hosted thousands of IDPs who abandoned UN protection site earlier, has traditionally been managed by the South Sudan Government’s Relief and Rehabilitation Commission.
“I am particularly grateful for the Government’s rapid response to this situation which ensured that people were able to be safely moved and accommodated back in the community,” Shearer.
The almost five years conflict, which broke out in 2013 over power struggle and resources control between president Kiir and his former vice president Machar, has killed ten thousands of people and displaced 2.5 million people from their homes. Hundreds of thousands of people are seeking protection at UN sites across South Sudan, such as Juba, Bor, Malakal, Wau, Bentiu and so forth.
“Hundreds of thousands of people fled to UN protection sites across South Sudan out of fear for their lives during the ongoing conflict. But these camps are not a good long-term option for families,” said Shearer. “If people have the trust and confidence that the environment is safe enough for them to voluntarily return home, UNMISS is poised to assist them. But providing that confidence in the security situation very much lies with the Government.”
The relocation was voluntary and assisted by humanitarian partners and the South Sudan government.
Of recently, president Kiir and rebel leader Machar signed power – sharing peace deal in Khartoum, in an attempt to end the conflict. This was followed the warring parties initialed revitalized peace deal and they are now discussion matrix of peace deal.