SOUTH SUDAN / AMADI ASSESSMENT

09-Nov-2017 00:02:47
Improved security and road infrastructure repairs, have been recommended by a team from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), after a week-long assessment road-trip to the Amadi area, located to the south-west of South Sudan. UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / AMADI ASSESSMENT
TRT: 02:47
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: KISWAHILI / ENGLISH / ARABIC / NATS

DATELINE: 28 OCTOBER - 2 NOVEMBER 2017, AMADI, SOUTH SUDAN
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, oil tanker tipped over on its side
2. Wide shot, tow rope being fixed on oil tanker
3. Wide shot, armored personnel carrier reversing towards oil tanker
4. Wide shot, tanker being pulled out of bog on road
5. Wide shot, vehicles and APCs driving away
6. Wide shot, another large vehicle in bog of water on road
7. Med shot, truck drivers fixing tow ropes
8. Wide shot, APC pulling vehicle to its wheels
9. SOUNDBITE (Kiswahili) Truck Driver:
“Our vehicle fell over yesterday. Until today there is no one who can help us. We are expecting help today. We were wondering if you (UNMISS) can help us. We have been on the road for a long time from Rumbek- for almost two months. We are tired. Most of our stuff has been stolen.”
10. Various shots, deserted shops
11. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Resident of Amadi:
“The shops are closed because there is no access from other parts to here. To move from here to Mundri is deadly. Someone can be killed on the way, that is why we are in fear. We cannot move from here to Juba or Mundri to bring goods, you will be killed on the way. that is why you see the shops are closed.”
12. Wide shot, APCs moving through flooded roads
13. Close up, soldier atop APC waving
14. Wide shot, vehicles driving on stretch of dry road
15. Various shots, assessment team speaking to SPLM IO soldiers
16. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) SPLA IO Soldier:
“Life here is very bad. We are not able to stay safe. Everybody is running to the bush. Even though they cultivate here, things just get spoilt in the farm. If the government soldiers come, they just kill everybody – women, children - everybody.”
17. Med shot, UNMISS peacekeeper speaking with SPLA IO soldier
18. SOUNDBITE (English) Samuel Sarpong, Civil Affairs Division, Coordinator of Assessment Mission:
“We have seen is that the information of possible military especially military especially by the SPLA has led to a number of civilians deserting the communities. We have the IO active in the area and they are lying in wait expecting the SPLA to come and as such they have asked the civilians, especially the women and children to move out of the place.”
19. Wide shot, UNMISS team with Amadi residents
STORYLINE
Improved security and road infrastructure repairs, have been recommended by a team from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), after a week-long assessment road-trip to the Amadi area, located to the south-west of South Sudan.

Vehicles cannot go past a stricken oil tanker, blocking the area’s main access and supply road.

Continued conflict, which erupted in December 2013, has for almost four years slowed any progress aimed at developing the country’s infrastructure, with basic supply routes weathering away. Road repairs have been neglected, and the already poor roads have been made worse by months of heavy rain.
Shovels in hand and tow ropes engaged, Chinese troops who formed part of a recent United Nations assessment patrol on this route eventually get the oil tanker onto its wheels - moving it aside to ensure the road is passable.

Miles away, another vehicle has tipped over. Hours later, success, and the truck drivers’ jump with joy. They have been waiting for help for at least 24 hours along this stretch of deserted, partly destroyed, bumpy, and overused road.

SOUNDBITE (Kiswahili) Truck Driver:
“Our vehicle fell over yesterday. Until today there is no one who can help us. We are expecting help today. We were wondering if you (UNMISS) can help us. We have been on the road for a long time from Rumbek- for almost two months. We are tired. Most of our stuff has been stolen.”

With bandits taking advantage of these difficult and sometimes impassible roads, transportation of goods from place to place, has been minimal, resulting to shops being closed in some areas.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Resident of Amadi:
“The shops are closed because there is no access from other parts to here. To move from here to Mundri is deadly. Someone can be killed on the way, that is why we are in fear. We cannot move from here to Juba or Mundri to bring goods, you will be killed on the way. that is why you see the shops are closed.”

For the UNMISS assessment team which travelled to Amadi County, their road journey of about 180 kilometers from Juba to Mundri experienced delays – taking two days with a night stop at an abandoned school as driving into the evenings on stretches of abandoned roads was not an option.

The assessment team travelled to Amadi area for a week to assess the road situation for humanitarian delivery, with teams investigating Human Rights’ violations, following reports of conflict in the area.

Assessments patrols like these also allow for the UNMISS presence to be felt in areas where insecurity is high, hence partially fulfilling a protection of civilians mandate for the UN Mission.

During this long-range patrol, teams visited locations outside Mundri along Mundri-Mvolo and Mundri –Amadi roads, where residents have deserted their homes due to the conflict.

Along some deserted roads, crop and farming areas lie unattended as owners have fled. In one area though, well-tended crops – an indication of settlement showed the presence of a handful of anti-government forces known as the SPLM In Opposition – SPLA IO.

During South Sudan’s July 2016 conflict, anti-government forces loyal to Riek Machar who is currently under house arrest in South Africa, traversed these areas as their leader fled the country. Some of the Machar forces remain active in the area.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) SPLA IO Soldier:
“Life here is very bad. We are not able to stay safe. Everybody is running to the bush. Even though they cultivate here, things just get spoilt in the farm. If the government soldiers come, they just kill everybody – women, children - everybody.”

While on Mission, the assessment team was able to confirm the continued presence of military activity on the Mundri-Mvolo road.

SOUNDBITE (English) Samuel Sarpong, Civil Affairs Division, Coordinator of Assessment Mission:
“We have seen is that the information of possible military especially military especially by the SPLA has led to a number of civilians deserting the communities. We have the IO active in the area and they are lying in wait expecting the SPLA to come and as such they have asked the civilians, especially the women and children to move out of the place.”

The UNMISS team also met with State officials with the state governor highlighting issues of insecurity and bad roads.
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