4th August 2020
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‘Come together in unity and peace’ -David Shearer

Authors: Priscah Akol | Woja Emmanuel | Published: Thursday, July 9, 2020

David Shearer, Special Representative for South Sudan and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

A UN official has called for unity of purpose among South Sudanese to address issues of communal violence and the coronavirus pandemic.

David Shearer is the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in South Sudan.

In a statement today, Mr. Shearer said the country has undergone series of both political and inter-communal violence that killed thousands and displaced millions of others.

He said similarly, the coronavirus has adversely affected the social and economic fabric of South Sudan.

The UN Security Council recently expressed serious concerns over the increase in intercommunal violence, including the use of military-grade weapons and tactics, in addition to widespread sexual and gender-based violence.

It said the situation has worsened due to lack of access to primary healthcare services, overcrowding in displacement camps – coupled with poor access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

“These events remind us of the critical importance and ongoing need for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to continue its work to protect civilians and build durable peace,” David Shearer asserted.

In recent months, UNMISS said it has witnessed a stalling of the peace process and, worryingly, an escalation in the conflict between armed groups in places such as Jonglei, Unity and Central Equatoria which has caused many civilian deaths, widespread displacement and the looting and destruction of homes.

In his Independence Day message, the head of UNMISS called on South Sudanese to exert join hands to respond to the new threats to the young nation.

David Shearer said now more than ever, the government and people of South Sudan should come together in unity and peace face the new challenge.

“There is still much work that needs to be done to end the outbreaks of violence and to ensure that we have a truly unified government that makes collaborative decisions in the best interests of its citizens,” he said.

“It is only then that South Sudan will truly enjoy the peace and prosperity it deserves.”

He reiterated the readiness of the United Nations to continue to “stand strong alongside the communities that we are here to serve with a firm commitment to supporting the national-led COVID-19 response and continuing our lifesaving and life-changing work.”

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