Amnesty International calls on UN to boost its presence in South Sudan

UNMISS soldiers at a UN-run site. Photo: Reuters

Nairobi/Juba, March 14, 2018 (SSNA) — Amnesty International has called on the United Nations (UN) to step up its efforts in the war-torn South Sudan, saying The Protection of Civilians (POC) sites are saving lives of people who are in desperate need of protection.

The call comes as mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan is set to be extended tomorrow.

“With the continuing conflict and associated human rights violations in South Sudan, the possibility of civilians returning to their homes or being resettled remains remote. The Protection of Civilians (POC) sites are truly life-saving for hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need of protection,” Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn, and the Great Lakes, Dr. Joan Nyanyuki said.

Amnesty International also calls on UN Mission in South Sudan to extend its mandate to civilians in other UN-run sites outside Juba, adding that sexual allegations allegedly committed by UN peacekeepers in Wau and other areas should not be repeated and that those who are responsible should be held accountable.

“UNMISS must take decisive action on all human rights violations within its own ranks and hold peacekeepers accountable following these accusations of sexual exploitation and abuse,” Nyanyuki explained.

The rights group urges the UNMISS to make civilian protection sites safe, adding, “With its work in the country set to be extended, UNMISS must continue to guarantee that the civilian protection sites remain a safe haven amid the ongoing violence.”

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