What's In Blue

Posted Wed 4 Jan 2012

Consultations on South Sudan

Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, is set to brief the Council tomorrow morning, Thursday 5 January, in consultations on the recent violence in Jonglei, the largest state in South Sudan. Council members remain concerned about the ongoing inter-communal violence in South Sudan (which claimed the lives of over 1,000 people in Jonglei state in 2011) and are likely to seek clarity on recent developments. At press time, it was unclear whether the Council would consider an outcome following its discussion on the issue.

Ladsous is likely to update the briefing to the press on 3 January by Lise Grande, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, on the situation in Jonglei. During the briefing, Grande provided details of how heavily armed Lou Nuer youth marched toward settlements in Jonglei in late December and how the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was able to provide early warning to residents. By the time the Lou Nuer reached Pibor by 1 January, UNMISS troops supporting Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) troops created a defensive perimeter that protected part of Pibor, although Lou Nuer entered the town and set part of it on fire. The Lou Nuer left on 3 January after being shot at by SPLA troops.

Grande underscored the grave humanitarian crisis resulting from the displacement of thousands of people from Lukangol and Pibor. It appears the violence has left the displaced without food, water, shelter, or access to medical attention. (Media reports indicate that a large number of staff from Médecins Sans Frontières stationed in Pibor county were displaced by the fighting as well.)

Grande said that the various UN entities had rescued and evacuated civilians, provided relief, and deterred violence in the region. She added that the UN would continue to provide emergency assistance and track the movement of the column of Lou Nuer youth.

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