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UNMISS and Warrap State authorities visit Marial Lou and call for peace and reconciliation in the region

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UNMISS and Warrap State authorities visit Marial Lou and call for peace and reconciliation in the region

The conflict between all of us has taken its toll and all parties have agreed that the only way forward for us is to resolve things peacefully.

JUBA, South Sudan, September 23, 2021 / APO Group / –

The commander of UNMISS, Lieutenant-General Shailesh Tinaikar, recently visited Marial Lou, in Warrap State, to see first-hand the situation on the ground.

Accompanied by Anastasie Nyirigira Mukangarambe, head of the UNMISS field office in the state, Force Commander Tinaikar was also joined by state officials, including Acting Governor Debora Uduel Akiech and other authorities. eminent members of the state.

The Force Commander’s visit follows recent intercommunal clashes. The most recent outbreak of violence in early July displaced some 5,000 people; schools, churches and health centers have been vandalized and a World Food Program warehouse looted by armed youth.

Wol Mario Maalok, interim payam administrator at Marial Lou, briefed the visiting delegation on the situation. “The conflict between all of us has taken its toll and all parties have agreed that the only way forward for us is to resolve things peacefully so that our children can live free from fear and retaliation. In fact, many people who fled at the start of the clashes have now started returning to their homes. “

However, humanitarian aid still needs to be addressed.

“We lack medical facilities, shelter and food, although the presence of UNMISS peacekeepers here has allowed hospital staff to resume their duties. Many people lost everything during the conflict and they need help getting back on their feet, ”added Maalok.

For her part, Acting Governor Akiech reiterated the state administration’s commitment to support long-term peace and conflict resolution in Marial Lou, saying the government was convening a dialogue of peace between the three communities in conflict.

“I was in Juba when I was briefed on the situation here and I am grateful for the efforts of the authorities there which have enabled us to be here today. Previously, this was not feasible, ”said the acting governor.

She also urged the residents of Marial Lou to support the people who come here to protect themselves. “I implore the community to protect those who come here. They need your help.

In addition, she said that facilities such as schools and hospitals should be accessible to everyone. “The hospital should be open to anyone in need of medical care and the school should be open to all children.”

Force Commander Tinaikar echoed the words of the acting governor. “UNMISS is there to ensure that all tensions are reduced and that any existing conflict is resolved amicably through dialogue and discussion. Our job is to protect innocent civilians who are caught in the crosshairs of violence and we are grateful for the cooperation we have received from state authorities. We remain committed to ensuring the protection of all communities living here, ”he said.

The counties of Tonj Est and Tonj Nord in Warrap have historically reported significant intercommunal violence, caused mainly by cattle rustling, resulting in the loss of human life and the displacement of thousands of people, mostly women and children.

Marial Lou was the region’s humanitarian hub, but much of the infrastructure was destroyed, including the region’s only referral hospital, and aid items were looted in the recent outbreak of violence.

To counter this, UNMISS established a temporary base of operations at Marial Lou in early September, staffed with civilian and uniformed personnel to stabilize the area through peacebuilding and conflict resolution.

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