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UN Secretary-General Special Representative hails Rwanda Peacekeepers pro-active response to South Sudan crisis

Aburoc, 21 June 2017

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in South Sudan, David Shearer has praised Rwanda Peacekeepers serving under United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for their quick response in support of humanitarian assistance in Aburoc Internally Displaced Persons camp,  in Upper Nile Region, South Sudan.

Mr Shearer made the comment last Wednesday, after visiting Aburoc camp that accommodates 25,000 IDPs.

At the beginning of April 2017, UNMISS helicoptered in 80 Rwandan peacekeepers together with armored vehicles to Aburoc, to create better security conditions for the humanitarian assistance. After the rapid deployment of the Peacekeepers, the Humanitarian Community arrived in the area two days later.

“The presence of peacekeeping troops undoubtedly provided the security and confidence that humanitarian agencies needed to operate in this remote and dangerous area,” said Mr Shearer. He noted that the demonstrated nimble and pro-active peacekeeping response should be emulated to other crisis situations in South Sudan.

“A cholera outbreak was stopped and hundreds of lives were saved as a result of this combined action together with a highly effective response by humanitarian agencies”, he added.

“With the possibility that Aburoc was going to become a humanitarian disaster area, it was important that everyone moved quickly,” Mr Shearer underlined. “I was very pleased that peacekeepers were ready to deploy nimbly and proactively. A light and effective footprint on the ground was what was needed”, he concluded.

The Aburoc village that numbered some 5,000 people only before the arrival of the IDPs was lacking water, food and health service; but now humanitarian agencies are safe to provide life-saving services to the needy.