December 22, 2017 02:00 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Dec 22: Nepali peacekeepers have been deployed in the Torit area in South Sudan to strengthen UN presence to better protect civilians.
According to a spokesperson for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the arrival of 150 Nepali peacekeepers in the hotspot of conflict is enabling the UNMISS to extend its presence through increased patrols across the Eastern Equatoria region of South Sudan to help protect civilians and build durable peace.
“The Nepalese 'blue helmets' are strengthening UNMISS's ability to react to the unpredictable and volatile security situation in the area, characterized by the intermittent outbreak of conflict and recurrent tensions,” said the spokesperson. “Their continued presence will help UNMISS boost security to create a safe and stable environment for the South Sudanese people, and will boost the ability of the Mission to facilitate peace talks in the region.”
Prior to the arrival of the Nepali company, UNMISS had a limited capability in Torit to respond and carry out patrols with only one company of 150 Rwandan peacekeepers. Mounting tensions between the opposition and government forces near Torit last July prompted the temporary 2-week deployment of a Nepali company that helped mitigate conflict and stabilizes the situation. “The effective response that was possible due to having the two companies prepared to respond, led UNMISS to deploy the additional Nepalese company for a longer period to achieve operational priorities,” said a statement quoting the spokesperson.
"Now that the Nepalese battalion has arrived and settled in, we are able to expand the UN's presence and improve situational awareness since we can move outside of Torit more frequently. In future, we hope to establish routines for regular patrols in the town and also initiate night patrols to bolster security in Torit. The new company allows us to take a flexible and nimble approach in responding to emergent security challenges," the statement quoted Mary Cummins, the UNMISS Head of Field Office in Torit, as saying.