IDPs in Bentiu protest decision to withdraw UN peacekeepers

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Internally displaced persons at the Bentiu Protection of Civilian Site in Unity State Monday held peaceful demonstrations against the decision by the UN to withdraw its forces from some sites.

Last month, the head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, announced that the mission is planning to withdraw its forces from some PoCs and hand over the protection of Civilian sites (PoCs) to the transitional government.

Internally displaced persons in Bor and Juba protested the decision last week stating the withdrawal will leave them vulnerable.

One of the protestors, the head of peace and reconciliation efforts within the camp Yuanis Gatnyang told Radio Tamazuj that the decision is ill-advised.

He said they presented a letter addressed to the UN secretary-general and head of UNMISS highlighting their concerns.

“Today, we held a peaceful protest to reject the issue of peacekeepers to be removed from the protection sites in Juba, Bor, and Bentiu because the unified army is not yet formed and the state government hasn’t been formed fully. We did not come to the PoC to eat; we ran away from the same government that the UNMISS wants to protect us,” he said.

Rup Bol Kolang, the camp chairman said the protest was to deliver the people’s demands and concerns.

“One of the main reasons as to why people protested today is the issues of security arrangements which are not implemented. The states are not complete, unified police have not graduated. If the UMISS withdraw it means there will be no people in the PoC. If UNMISS is tired of South Sudanese people let them come and tell us so that everyone can find their way out,” Bol said.

Bentiu PoC, the missions’ largest PoC, is home to more than 100,000 internally displaced persons.

Source: Radio Tamazuj

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