Juba/New York, February 7, 2017 (SSNA) — South Sudan’s military and security personnel have finally allowed the United Nations peacekeepers to enter Kajo Keji town of Central Equatoria after three days of a systematic road block.
The peacekeepers were prevented from accessing location of fleeing civilians after reports of worsening of security and humanitarian situation the area.
Stephane Dujarric, the Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General has announced today at the UN headquarters in New York that peacekeepers have now arrived in Kajo Keji and that they are assessing the situation of the fleeing civilians.
“From South Sudan, we have an update from our peacekeeping colleagues in the Mission there on the situation in Kajo Keji, in Central Equatoria. As we reported a few days ago, civilians have been fleeing the town due to insecurity, following clashes between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and Opposition groups,” Dujarric said, adding “It was a major priority for the UN Mission to urgently access the location to assess the security situation and provide force protection to enable the delivery of humanitarian assistance. UN peacekeepers reportedly arrived on Sunday from Juba after being held up at road blocks on three consecutive days.”
Dujarric also told reporters at a news conference that the peacekeepers patrolled at the airport and market areas and reported the presence of a handful of civilians. He also stated that UNMISS head David Shearer is pleased UN peacekeepers reached Kajo Keji and thanked them for their persistence. The UNMISS chief also expressed his hope that allowing peacekeepers to reach their destination is a “sign that in the future UN peacekeeping troops would be granted the access they are entitled to under the UN’s status of forces agreement with the Government of South Sudan.”
Dujarric further disclosed at the press conference that a civilian team from UN Mission, human rights, civil affairs, gender, and relief and protection experts also arrived in Kajo Keji Tuesday morning to conduct an assessment of the humanitarian needs.