UNMISS condemns fighting in Malakal
JUBA, South Sudan, April 22, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The UN Mission in South Sudan is gravely concerned about the fighting in the Upper Nile state capital of Malakal that broke out in the evening of Tuesday, 21 April and continued into the early afternoon of today. The precise causes of the violence remain unclear.
UNMISS started receiving internally displaced persons (IDPs) seeking protection from the violence yesterday evening. The influx of IDPs has continued throughout today, and at least 1,500 unarmed civilians have joined the existing IDP population of over 26,000 who are being sheltered by the Mission.
Earlier today, Indian peacekeepers extracted the acting director of the Malakal Teaching Hospital and a colleague who were trapped in town during the fighting and brought them to the UNMISS base. Rwandan peacekeepers have provided protection to some of the IDPs fleeing the violence. UNMISS has also been broadcasting peace messages on local radio stations. Five injured members of the staff of Upper Nile State governor Simon Kun Puoch are receiving medical treatment at the Mission's Level II hospital.
“It is highly regrettable that fighting has flared anew in Malakal at a time when the situation appeared so promising, with the hope that people would soon be able to return home and life would be restored to the city. Once again the lives of innocent civilians are being affected by the cycle of violence in this part of South Sudan, ” said the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for South Sudan and head of UNMISS Ellen Margrethe Loej. “We call on the military commanders in charge of the belligerent forces to order an immediate halt to the fighting and open a dialogue to resolve the causes of the violence.”