SOUTH SUDAN / TONGA PATROL

13-Feb-2018 00:02:43
A team from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) paid a three-day visit to Tonga, a small, but strategic town, that is currently under the control of opposition groups. UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / TONGA PATROL
TRT: 02:43
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 06 FEBRUARY 2018, TONGA, SOUTH SUDAN
SHOTLIST
DATELINE: 06 FEBRUARY 2018, TONGA, SOUTH SUDAN

1. Aerial shot, Tonga
2. Aerials shot, Tonga
3. Med shot, woman working
4. Wide shot, broken canoe
5. Wide shot, UNMISS Chopper landing
6. Wide shot, UNMISS team leader shaking general’s hand
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS, David Shearer:
“It was important for us to be in Tonga because we have not spent any length of time there. It is in an opposition controlled area and we wanted to see what the needs were. Talk with the local community and find out what was going on.”
8. Wide shot, Tonga looking deserted
9. Wide shot, huts
10. Wide shot, men chilling with the cows
11. Med shot, man getting haircut with cattle in the background
12. Wide shot, people walking carrying bags
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Adulok Ogeny Mal-Lulak, Panyikang County Commissioner:
“We are lacking so many things especially when we talk about the humanitarian crisis here we don’t have food items. There is no food for the civilian here we are lacking health service then education facility, we don’t have it. We have the structure of the school which are in place but lack of teaching material. Coming to the side of the hospital also. We have the hospital structure but still we don’t have medicines and there is no doctors. Here also we are next to the river but there is no clean drinking water in this area. And again hygiene is also a problem because people do not have latrines because of lack of tools.”
14. Wide shot, Sick kid on hospital floor
15. Close up, Sick kid on hospital floor
16. Arial shot, Nile surrounding Tonga
17. Arial shot, Barge on the Nile
18. SOUNDBITE (English) Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS, David Shearer:
“Everybody in South Sudan, whether you are in Tonga, in Malakal or in the Equatorias, everybody wants peace. And what we really need to see from the leaders and the armed groups that are there in Addis Ababa is the willingness to step over their red lines, to ignore their redlines and work together in the interest of the country. And not their own specific interest, either personal or their party or their armed group. We must see that and if we do not see that, we will be back to where we are and the misery and the suffering will continue. We want to be able to give the people of South Sudan some real hope that change is coming.”
19. Med shot, Kids behind fence
20. Wide shot, Kids playing
STORYLINE
In the far north of South Sudan, along the West Bank of the Nile River lies Tonga. A small, but strategic town, that is currently under the control of opposition groups.

Like many parts of South Sudan, the lives of thousands of people from Tonga and surrounding areas have been disrupted as a result of fighting between armed government forces and the opposition.

A team from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan visited the area for three-days to get a first-hand understanding on the security and humanitarian situation.

SOUNDBITE (English) Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS, David Shearer:
“It was important for us to be in Tonga because we have not spent any length of time there. It is in an opposition controlled area and we wanted to see what the needs were. Talk with the local community and find out what was going on.”

Around the small town, the usual sight of makeshift shelters – made from tarpaulin-sheeting bearing humanitarian agency logos - is nowhere to be seen, a sign that aid has not yet reached the area.

Many civilians were forced to flee their homes and take shelter in UN protection sites across South Sudan and refugee camps in neighbouring countries when a second wave of fighting erupted in Tonga last April.

But calm has since returned.

Local authorities say that the area has been stable with no reported fighting since the signing of Cessation of Hostilities Agreement between the two warring factions.

And as a result, many civilians who had fled are returning home to start afresh.

The problem is that there is nothing to come back to.

SOUNDBITE (English) Adulok Ogeny Mal-Lulak, Panyikang County Commissioner:
“We are lacking so many things especially when we talk about the humanitarian crisis here we don’t have food items. There is no food for the civilian here we are lacking health service then education facility, we don’t have it. We have the structure of the school which are in place but lack of teaching material. Coming to the side of the hospital also. We have the hospital structure but still we don’t have medicines and there is no doctors. Here also we are next to the river but there is no clean drinking water in this area. And again hygiene is also a problem because people do not have latrines because of lack of tools. So these are the issues that we are facing here”

The UN Mission together with humanitarian partners are looking to see how best to address the needs of these vulnerable people.

However, humanitarian agencies may face some serious access barriers given Tonga is essentially an island surrounded by water, with only a few narrow roads bridging the town.

Despite the challenges, there is hope that the second round of talks during the High Level Revitalization Forum in Addis Ababa will bring about peace, making it possible for civilians to rebuild their lives and restore the country.

SOUNDBITE (English) Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMISS, David Shearer:
“Everybody in South Sudan, whether you are in Tonga, in Malakal or in the Equatorias, everybody wants peace. And what we really need to see from the leaders and the armed groups that are there in Addis Ababa is the willingness to step over their red lines, to ignore their redlines and work together in the interest of the country. And not their own specific interest, either personal or their party or their armed group. We must see that and if we do not see that, we will be back to where we are and the misery and the suffering will continue. We want to be able to give the people of South Sudan some real hope that change is coming.”

As talks draw to a close, only time will tell if a clear path to a peaceful and a more stable South Sudan will be forged.
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