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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

UN Security Council mission visits South Sudan 

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- A delegation from the UN Security Council arrived in South Sudan on Friday to help shore up peace after heavy clashes between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and former Vice-President Riek Machar in July.

A statement from the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said the visit comes after the 15-member council recently approved the deployment of a 4,000-strong protection force responsible for providing a secure environment in and around Juba, under the authority of the UNMISS in the wake of recent violence stemming from political differences.

The delegation co-led by the Permanent Representatives of the Missions of Senegal and the United States include representatives of all the other permanent and rotating member states of the Security Council.

The delegation is expected to hold meetings with Kiir and other transitional government members, with the aim of reinforcing the various messages contained in a number of resolutions that it has issued in relation to South Sudan.

“The council also aims to engage in discussions on how the UN Mission will continue to work with the government to improve the security and humanitarian situation in South Sudan,” the statement said.

Council members will also engage with civil society organizations, community leaders, women and youth groups to obtain firsthand perspectives on the security situation, their needs, challenges, the impact of the conflict on communities, and solicit their views.

The council has, in its recent resolution, expressed grave alarm over the security situation and the ongoing violence in the country, as well as the dire humanitarian consequences for the people of the country.

It has also expressed extreme concern over reports of widespread sexual and gender-based violence and ethnic clashes, and plans to urge all parties to adhere to an immediate end to fighting throughout the country, during this trip.

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UN refugee agency opens new camp in South Sudan

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- The UN refugee agency said on Friday that it has officially opened a new camp in South Sudan to provide better protection and services to refugees relocating from Yida settlement and new arrivals from the war-torn Nuba Mountains.

A statement from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the new camp in Pamir, some 80 km south of the contested border with Sudan, is ready to accommodate up to 20,000 people at the moment.

UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner George Okoth-Obbo, who was on a three-day visit to South Sudan, said the new camp, which was opened in coordination with local authorities and South Sudan’s Commission for Refugee Affairs, will ensure refugee access to quality services.

“Our aim is to ensure that refugees access to quality services according to international standards, but our long-term strategy is to provide them with the tools and means that enable them to become more self-reliant and less dependent on humanitarian assistance,” Okoth-Obbo said.

“This means boosting education, investing in agriculture and skill development opportunities,” he said of the new camp.

The statement said UNHCR and partners have so far demarcated 5,000 family plots, built a primary school and a health care center.

Drinking water is available through a sun-powered water pumping system and teachers are on site to start classes as soon as the school term resumes.

UNHCR carried a vanguard of 30 refugees from Yida settlement to the new camp last Tuesday. Thousands more are scheduled to relocate by the end of the year.

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