UN shelters 63, 000 civilians in South Sudan - UN spokesperson

By The Citizen

The UN spokesperson, Martin Nesirky says the  UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has reported that approximately 63,000 civilians are now sheltering in UN bases around the country.

Nesirky in response to reporters' questions on Friday said that civilians included 25,000 in two Juba bases, 15,000 in Bor, 12,000 in Bentiu and 8,000 in Malakal.

He added that the UN peacekeepers had continued to protect civilians in the locations, while humanitarian actors provide relief.

Nesirky quoted the UN Mission as saying that the security situation in Upper Nile was tensed with reports of the presence of anti-government and government forces.

He explained that government forces were believed to have consolidated their positions in and around Bor, as well as at the airport, stressing that anti-government forces remained in the vicinity and that the situation remained tense.

'The Department of Peacekeeping Operations says is working with other peacekeeping missions in the region as well as troop and police contributing countries to quickly mobilise personnel.

'And equipment to be moved into South Sudan to strengthen the mission's protection of civilian capacity,'' he stated.

'The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says at least 121,600 people have been displaced by the crisis in South Sudan since mid-December. Humanitarian organisations say the figure is expected to be higher,'' Nesirky noted.