The UN has handed over the security of the Protection of Civilian site in Bentiu to the government of Unity State.
It also transformed the POC site into an Internally Displaced Person camp.
The UN Protection of Civilians sites, or PoCs was established after the December 2013 to provide sanctuary to people fleeing violence and conflict.
As of 7 November 2019, a total of 190,455 civilians were sheltering at various PoC sites on UNMISS bases, with 117,767 in Bentiu alone – the largest population compared to other regions in the country by far.
Those remaining in the camp will now be under the joint protection of the SSPDF and the SPLA-IO. UNMISS is said to have also provided a vehicle to help the security team with mobility.
The state minister of Information and Communication confirmed to Eye Radio that the handover ceremony was done this week in the presence of the governor and his cabinet.
“We were invited by the UN…we witnessed the handover by the UN cluster and the IDPs representatives,” Gabriel Kuon Makuei said.
“We were asked about our plans to deal with such situation. We were given some questionnaires to answer and we answered them correctly, and after that the handing over was done.”
He added that the IDPs are free to return to their original homes but added that the UN will continue to provide services within the camp.
Mr. Kuon disclosed that the protection of the camp will eventually be handed over to the police.
“The UN police was already withdrawn, and the IO and IG forces were combined temporarily to take care of the IDPs till the real police graduate from Panjar to replace them.”
In November last year, the UN Mission in South Sudan begun withdrawing its troops from POC sites in Bor and Wau, leaving them under the jurisdiction of the government.
This, it said, is because the primary duty of the government of South Sudan is to protect its citizens.
UNMISS has so far handed over the security of the POC site in Bor and Juba to the South Sudan police.
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