SOUTH SUDAN / AKOBO RETURNEES

25-Jan-2019 00:02:07
The establishment of a new UN peacekeeping base in the Akobo town in South Sudan– the only one in opposition-held territory – is helping build confidence by providing a protective presence, as the people displaced by the years of fighting slowly trickle back to town. UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / AKOBO RETURNEES
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH /NUER /NATS

DATELINE: 25 JANUARY 2019, AKOBO, SOUTH SUDAN
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, Nyabang preparing to make tea
2. Close up, Nyabang pouring tea into a glass
3. Wide shot, Nyabang finishing the tea preparation
4. SOUNDBITE (Nuer) Nyabang Juol Chan, Akobo resident:
“I live here because I work in the market for my children to survive, selling tea for my children to get some stew, or fish or meat. It is the life that I live here. It is better than it was in the camp.”
5. Wide shot, Akobo Town main road
6. Med shot, Boy with bike on Akobo Town main road
7. SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for South Sudan:
“I think what we’ve done bringing back people from Bor is create the confidence for people to come back into Akobo. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the 250 that we flew by helicopter here to Akobo have now attracted others to come into the region because they believe and think that it is safe. I think our presence here has given a greater degree of confidence, of seeing the number of humanitarian organizations here triple in number and breadth of what they are doing as well. I’m sure that is because of our presence here as well.”
8. Wide shot, Meat seller on side of road surrounded by little boys
9. Med shot, Meat seller cutting up bush meat
10. SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for South Sudan:
“What we are seeing and hearing from the people I’ve been speaking to, is that the security situation generally, in terms of political violence and, say the fighting between government and IO forces, has subsided substantially but there’s an increase of intercommunal violence and that includes cattle raiding, child abduction and killing of innocent civilians here and that’s what is really worrying the community here. It’s something that we are going to be addressing through our civil affairs unit dealing with both sides to make sure that we don’t have a cycle of revenge that amplifies rather than reduces that sort of violence.”
11. Wide shot, two Indian UNMISS Peacekeepers keeping watch over civilians
12. Med shot, UNMISS Peacekeeper showing the peace sign
STORYLINE
Nyabang Juol Chan fled her home two years ago in the midst of the violent civil war in South Sudan, finding sanctuary in a refugee camp in nearby Ethiopia. Two months ago, she returned to the town of Akobo in the wake of a new peace agreement, hoping to rebuild her life.

SOUNDBITE (Nuer) Nyabang Juol Chan, Akobo resident:
“I live here because I work in the market for my children to survive, selling tea for my children to get some stew, or fish or meat. It is the life that I live here. It is better than it was in the camp.”

The town of Akobo is beginning to thrive once again. The establishment of a new UN peacekeeping base – the only one in opposition-held territory – is helping build confidence by providing a protective presence. The UN and humanitarian agencies are also supporting displaced people making the long journey home from a protection camp in Bor.

SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for South Sudan:
“I think what we’ve done bringing back people from Bor is create the confidence for people to come back into Akobo. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the 250 that we flew by helicopter here to Akobo have now attracted others to come into the region because they believe and think that it is safe. I think our presence here has given a greater degree of confidence, of seeing the number of humanitarian organizations here triple in number and breadth of what they are doing as well. I’m sure that is because of our presence here as well.”

As well as humanitarian assistance, there is a need to create opportunities for people to support themselves, by giving them tools to grow crops and fish in the nearby river or to develop small businesses.
While the reduction in political violence has encouraged about 12,000 refugees to return, they are facing a fresh security threat with a sudden surge in intercommunal violence.

SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for South Sudan:
“What we are seeing and hearing from the people I’ve been speaking to, is that the security situation generally, in terms of political violence and, say the fighting between government and IO forces, has subsided substantially but there’s an increase of intercommunal violence and that includes cattle raiding, child abduction and killing of innocent civilians here and that’s what is really worrying the community here. It’s something that we are going to be addressing through our civil affairs unit dealing with both sides to make sure that we don’t have a cycle of revenge that amplifies rather than reduces that sort of violence.”

UNMISS is looking to boost the number of peacekeepers in the area and to provide more support for reconciliation efforts between ethnic groups so the community can finally rebuild their lives and live in peace.


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