SOUTH SUDAN / RIMENZE PATROL

15-Nov-2019 00:03:42
Four people have been kidnapped after thousands of displaced people ran into the bush following an attack by unknown assailants on a church compound in Rimenze, South Sudan. UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / RIMENZE PATROL
TRT: 03: 42
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH /AZANDE / NATS

DATELINE: 14 NOVEMBER 2019, RIMENZE, SOUTH SUDAN
SHOTLIST
1. Various shots, tracking of Rimenze town
2. Various shots, IDP camp in Rimenze and burnt tukul
3. SOUNDBITE (Azande) Charles Jacob Mbaro, Rimenze Internally Displaced Person:
“They removed grass, set my tukul [hut] on fire. Then they entered my neighbour’s tukul, looted their bicycle, motorbike and some money about 30,000 South Sudanese pounds (USD 300) then they left.”
4. Various shots, remnants of burnt tukul
5. SOUNDBITE (Azande) Charles Jacob Mbaro, Rimenze Internally Displaced Person:
“I am living where my tukul was burnt. Cooking utensils are all burnt. This is how it happened.”
6. Various shots, IDP woman seated
7. SOUNDBITE (Azande) Maria Raphael, Rimenze Internally Displaced Person:
“They are telling us that, there is peace, let us go to our homes, but again we are told the peace has been extended for tomorrow, three months, and four months. But we were already preparing a house for our children and also planning to grow crops with hope that there is peace. But with no peace, we will remain here in the camp.”
8. Various shots, UNMISS team meeting with religious leaders
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Rev. Father Peter Babetimo, Rimenze Catholic church:
“Up to now people are still sleeping in the bush, because there is no security. Even they had come to the church and there is no security in the church. There is no information about the government tackling this issue here.”
10. Various shots, UNMISS team talking to victims
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Antonina Okuta, UNMISS Human Rights Officer:
“From the human rights perspective, civilians are at any time supposed not be caught up in any kind of situation. They are supposed to enjoy their rights, whether there is conflict or whether there is peace. Now, in a case where civilians are, this is a church compound in Rimenze. In a place where people come, and they attack the compound, they burn civilians tukuls this is really a [bad] situation.”
12. Med shot, taking notes
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Antonina Okuta, UNMISS Human Rights Officer:
“For the incident that happened at night, we really have not been able to attribute it to anyone but still civilians should enjoy their security and we will take this and advocate with the state authorities – to have at least a police post in Rimenze, so that we are able to detect some of the incidents that affect the area.”
14. Pan right, IDP camp in Rimenze
STORYLINE
Four people have been kidnapped after thousands of displaced people ran into the bush following an attack by unknown assailants on a church compound in Rimenze, a village located on the outskirts of Yambio town in the south-west of South Sudan.

An uneasy calm has now returned to Rimenze village after an attack on a church compound that left many fleeing for their life.

They are now narrating their ordeal.

Their homes were torched, and property of unknown value destroyed or stolen by unknown armed assailants who fled the area.

SOUNDBITE (Azande) Charles Jacob Mbaro, Rimenze Internally Displaced Person:
“They removed grass, set my tukul [hut] on fire. Then they entered my neighbour’s tukul, looted their bicycle, motorbike and some money about 30,000 South Sudanese pounds (USD 300) then they left.”

Over 3,000 displaced people deserted their villages and have been living in the safety of the church compound since conflict erupted in the area three years ago. They feared returning to their homes, but now back in those very homes, their fear has been compounded by the attack on the church compound.

SOUNDBITE (Azande) Charles Jacob Mbaro, Rimenze Internally Displaced Person:
“I am living where my tukul was burnt. Cooking utensils are all burnt. This is how it happened.”

Located about 35 kilometres from Yambio town in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria region, this area where Rimenze is found has been a battlefield for Government and armed groups since 2016.

The formation of South Sudan’s unity government, which has been extended by 100 days from November 12, has left many frustrated and unsure of what to do about returning to their original homes.

SOUNDBITE (Azande) Maria Raphael, Rimenze Internally Displaced Person:
“They are telling us that, there is peace, let us go to our homes, but again we are told the peace has been extended for tomorrow, three months, and four months. But we were already preparing a house for our children and also planning to grow crops with hope that there is peace. But with no peace, we will remain here in the camp.”

This week’s attack resulted in thousands fleeing the church compound for fear that the unknown assailants will return.

SOUNDBITE: (English) Rev. Father Peter Babetimo, Rimenze Catholic church:
“Up to now people are still sleeping in the bush, because [there is] no security. Even they had come to the church and there is no security in the church. There is no information about the government tackling this issue.”

A joint assessment mission dispatched to the area from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan consisting of human rights, child protection, civil affairs teams and the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism, arrived in Rimenze, to speak to those on the ground.

SOUNDBITE (English) Antonina Okuta, UNMISS Human Rights Officer:
“Civilians are not at any time not supposed be caught up in any kind of situation. They are supposed to enjoy their rights, whether there is conflict or whether there is peace. Now, in a case where civilians are, this is a church compound in Rimenze. In a place where people come, and they attack the compound, they burn civilians tukuls this is really a [bad] situation.”

On the ground to monitor the aftermath of the attacks and consult with affected communities, the teams are able to suggest immediate solutions aimed at increasing the security levels on the ground.

SOUNDBITE (English) Antonina Okuta, UNMISS Human Rights Officer:
“For the incident that happened at night, we have not been able to attribute it to anyone but still civilians should enjoy their security and we will take this and advocate with the state authorities – to have at least a police post in Rimenze, so that we are able to detect some of the incidents that affect the area.”

With the uncertainty of guaranteed security in the area, residents here say they are worried.
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