UN mission in South Sudan calls for unhindered freedom of movement

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UNMISS Peacekeepers. UN Photo/Isaac Billy

Government authorities and opposition forces in South Sudan have been urged to allow UNMISS, the UN mission and humanitarian workers in the country to move freely to do their work.

The appeal follows incidents in which UNMISS patrols were stopped by the South Sudanese army.

UN Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York on Friday that one patrol was stopped by government soldiers in Bentiu on Thursday and asked to return to its base despite receiving clearance earlier.

"Similarly, another patrol was stopped on the road to Mayom town. The Mission is concerned over these violations of the Status of Forces Agreement, as signed between the Mission and the Government, and calls on all parties to ensure unhindered freedom of movement of UN and humanitarian workers so they can continue to undertake their work. The Mission is also concerned over rising tensions in and around the protection of civilians site in Bentiu, as well as over reports of violence within the site."(27")

The United Nations continues to protect approximately 23,000 people there.

In Upper Nile State, UNMISS on Thursday reported signs of gunfire and mortars in Abukhdra, close to Renk but the situation remained calm on Friday.

UNMISS once again urged the government and opposition to immediately implement the "Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan" signed by President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar last Friday.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration:  1’35″


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