January 1, 2017 (JUBA/WAU) – The new head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), David Shearer has said the world body is committed to helping the South Sudanese create the conditions of peace and security,” that internally displaced people in the young nation need so as to feel confident of returning home.
- The Special Representative of the U.N Secretary General in South Sudan David Shearer, February 1, 2017 (ST)
Shearer made these remarks on Wednesday during his first field trip outside the capital, Juba, in the town of Wau, where some 41,000 people are sheltering after fleeing their homes due to insecurity.
“The internally displaced people in Wau urgently need to return to their land ahead of the planting season in April and May,” he said.
“If they do not there will be no harvest and they will be further dependent on aid,” added the new head of the U.N mission.
UNMISS, Shearer further said in a statement, can support South Sudan’s peace process, but stressed that “ultimately peace and stability is something that the South Sudanese need to create.”
Shearer also visited Rumbek town in Western Lakes State, where insecurity has been heightened by long patterns of cattle raiding.
According to UNMISS, the new head of its South Sudan mission met U.N peacekeepers who have rehabilitated over 250 kilometers of roads, noting how important transport infrastructure is for the development of war-torn South Sudan.
“The supply of humanitarian aid as well as business and trade all depends on having a good road infrastructure, but the key is to first bring peace to the country,” said Shearer.
During his visit to Rumbek and Wau towns, Shearer held meetings with the respective state governors and members of the legislature.
Shearer also listened to the concerns of internally displaced people.
South Sudan has experience violence since December 2013 when political disagreements between President Salva Kiir and Machar saw the nation split along ethnic lines. Tens of thousands of people have since been killed and millions displaced in South Sudan’s worst ever outbreak of violence since its 2011 independence.