An armed clash in the village of Jahjah, located near Koch in the Unity region of South Sudan, caused homes and offices to be ransacked and burned down.
“When the looting started, most of us ran to neighboring areas for shelter in the bush,” said a community member. “We thought the clashes would continue, but thanks to the Ghanaian peacekeepers arriving very quickly, we were able to get out of our hiding place and now many of us are resuming our normal activities despite having suffered many casualties.”
50 Ghanaian peacekeepers, led by Major Kofi Safo, had established a temporary operational base in Koch earlier this month. “The minute we received information about the ongoing violence in Jahjah, we were able to send priority patrols within a very short timeframe,” revealed Major Safo.
“Although the perpetrators fled by the time our peacekeepers arrived on the scene, we managed to prevent the situation from worsening or causing further harm to the communities living here,” he said. he declares.
Preventing the outbreak of conflict or rapidly mitigating its effects on innocent civilians by establishing temporary bases in hot spots has been a focus of UNMISS operations in recent months.
“The area in and around Koch has been volatile of late with early warnings of a possible conflict,” said Lieutenant General Shailesh Tinaikar, Force Commander of UNMISS. “Since we deployed our peacekeepers proactively in advance, it was much easier for us to react quickly when we heard about the situation in Jahjah.”
Since this incident, which took place on February 20, 2021, UNMISS patrols in and around the areas of Jahjah village have continued. The mission is also assessing the security and humanitarian needs of those who have been affected.
“Ensuring the safety of communities and humanitarian partners is a top priority for UNMISS,” said David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in South Sudan.
“During my visit to Bentiu a few weeks ago, I assured the governor of our full support to the state administration on security issues. I am very happy that our Ghanaian peacekeepers responded quickly and we are monitoring closely to ensure that tensions do not increase in Koch.
Peacekeepers from the temporary base here are constantly engaging with community leaders and members to build confidence and bolster the fragile security situation across the county. In addition, they organized free veterinary care camps in the villages of Rier, Patit, Bhang and Wicruop, treating many animals owned by livestock owners.
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