UN civilian protection Camp in Wau, South Sudan. The United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan said on Friday 4 September 2020 that it had begun to withdraw its troops and police from the protection of civilian camps that continue to house more than 180,000 people two years after the end of the country's civil war. .
The U. N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan said Friday it had begun withdrawing its troops and police from civil protection camps that began as a frantic experiment in the heat of civil war and are still home to more than 180,000 people two years after the conflict ended.
These peacekeepers must move to new hotspots where several hundred people have been killed this year in intercommunal violence, including Jonglei State, U. N. Special Representative David Shearer told reporters.
This is a significant drawdown for us," he said, adding that typically a company of 150 soldiers is assisted by one or two police companies to guard the camps.
No one will be forced to leave the camps, he said, adding that the government of South Sudan will take responsibility for their safety.
South Sudan's five-year civil war has killed nearly 400,000 people and erupted just two years after the world's youngest country gained independence from Sudan. As frightened civilians sought shelter, the United Nations, in an unprecedented move, opened its doors and welcomed them.
The camps have been attacked over the years and insecurity outside has become so severe that some women who ventured for wood or other supplies have been sexually assaulted.
The sites were meant to protect people "in imminent physical danger, "and for the thousands of people still taking refuge in overcrowded camps," the threats that existed a few years
Cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the camps, a major concern due to overcrowding and limited or no resources for intensive care.
Data from the U. N. mission show that more peacekeepers have died this year than in any year during the civil war, with the highest death toll – 11 – attributed to the disease. Six peacekeepers died in June. It is not known how many died from COVID-19.
Shearer said he doesn't think the ongoing intercommunal violence in Jonglei threatens the deal "because I see the main parties very committed to the peace process."
The concern is that this violence could become political, he added. For now, heavy rains that have displaced more than 150,000 people in the region are forcing the armed groups to withdraw, but "tensions still remain very high," Shearer said.
A World Bank report last year estimated the number of small miners in Congo at 2 million, far more than those working in industrial gold, copper and cobalt mines owned by companies like Glencore and Barrick Gold.
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