The United Nations has been running its peacekeeping mission in South Sudan for the protection of civilians mired by the civil war in the country.
Analysing the risks at hand to have decreased in recent years in the country, on September 4, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan said that it has decided to withdraw its troops and police deployed for the protection of civilians in the civilian protection camps.
The civilian protection camps in South Sudan hosts more than 180,000 people.
U.N. Special Representative David Shearer said that the peacekeepers deployed for the protection of South Sudan people in protection camps must shift to new hotspots where several hundred people have been killed this year in intercommunal violence, notably Jonglei state.
David Shearer said, “It’s a significant withdrawal of numbers for us.” He informed that generally a company of 150 soldiers is assisted by one or two companies of police in guarding the camps.
The UN also informed that the withdrawal process has started at the camps in Wau and Bor and the remaining withdrawal will take place in other camps that are situated in Malakal, Bentiu and the capital, Juba.
The decision has been taken keeping in mind the safety of the UN peacekeepers. Per the statistics made available by the UN Mission, more peacekeepers have died this year than in any year during the civil war, with the most deaths – 11 – attributed to illness. Six peacekeepers died in June and keeping in mind the crisis situation arisen because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it uncertain how many died from COVID-19.