UN mission will continue to protect civilians in South Sudan: UN envoy

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Hilde Johnson

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) will not abandon the people of this new country as inter-communal violence continues forcing thousands of people to flee their homes.

This is the message from the head of UNMISS, Hilde Johnson during a press conference in the country's capital, Juba on Tuesday.

Ms Johnson said the crisis which started in Juba on December 15 and spread to other parts of the country has led to significant insecurity.

She told reporters that foreign nationals have left the country and many aid agencies and missions have evacuated their non-essential staff.

"I want to make it very clear that, although non-critical staff of the United Nations have relocated to Entebbe in Uganda, we are also increasing our staff in critical security related areas and we are reinforcing the bases that need reinforcement. This means that we are moving peacekeepers from locations that are less critical at this point in time to reinforce our bases in Juba, in Bor, in Bentiu, in Paryang." (29")

The top United Nations envoy in South Sudan said that if there is more fighting, threatening more civilians, UNMISS will have problems in carrying out its mandate.

That is why, she added, a strong message has been sent to New York that resources are needed for the mission to be able to face this situation.

The Security Council is meeting late on Tuesday to decide on a response to the crisis in South Sudan.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’23″

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