Peacekeepers of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) conduct air patrol in Ajaquak, discussing security and humanitarian concerns with local communities

United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

Over the past few years, South Sudan has not only suffered its worst floods in nearly 60 years, but also an upsurge in sub-national violence. Against this backdrop, the world’s newest country is struggling to consolidate a peace deal and hold free, fair, and credible elections.

For its part, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is doing all it can to support the people and the government to reduce tensions, protect civilians and ensure that peace processes remain on track.

During an air patrol conducted by the UN peacekeeping mission in Ajaquac in Twic County, Warrap State, the blue helmets interacted with community members suffering from climate shocks and conflicts.

“The floods literally deprived us,” revealed Nidiale Tutt, a resident of Unity State, which has been hit hard by recurring climate shocks. “Our search for dry land led us to Ajakuac first, and then we went to Aneet. But unfortunately, conflict followed. Violence broke out in Aneet during February, and we were made homeless again. I used to be healthy and now I am malnourished.”

Ajakwak lies on the border between Unity and the Abyei Administrative Area and is frequently affected by cross-border cattle raids as well as inter-tribal conflict.

UNMISS peacekeepers visiting the area focused on studying the needs of the displaced community as well as finding durable solutions to the ongoing skirmishes.

Community members echoed the UN peacekeeping mission’s efforts to bring harmony between the warring groups.

“We are willing to do everything to enter into a lasting peace,” community leader Tull McCall revealed to Blue Helmets.

But we need the government to take long-term measures. This cannot be done by societies alone. “We need support,” he added eloquently.

South Sudan’s long rainy season has exacerbated the volatile interface between two countries and their neighbors in Abyei.

“The roads are so full of water that humanitarian partners are unable to reach us, preventing the supply of life-saving aid. Our clinics do not have medicines, and there is a shortage of food as well as shelter,” explained Deng Malor, coordinator of the Relief and Rehabilitation Committee in Ajaquac.

Many displacement camps in our area have not received humanitarian assistance since February. We hope the advent of the dry season will help our partners alleviate some of the suffering.”

Georgina Proby, the UN Mission in South Sudan Civil Affairs Officer based in Kwajok, assured community members of the UN family’s continued support and urged them to disrupt the terms of previous peace negotiations to ensure that tensions between the warring parties are reduced.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Ajacuac and nearby areas due to heavy flooding since June.

The Mission has been closely monitoring the security situation through intensive patrols and initiating reconciliation activities based on dialogue between the hostile parties.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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