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UN denies telling staff to “stock enough food and water”

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Friday, November 8, 2019

UN peacekeepers on patrol in South Sudan | Credit | UNMISS

The UN Mission in South Sudan has denied some information circulating online that it has set up locations where UN protection force will rescue people in case of violence next week.

The letter titled: “UN issues Security Alert in South Sudan” purportedly advises NGO staff to stock enough food and water as the country approaches 12 November.

The online letter reportedly shared by a Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Officer for BRAC South Sudan, identified eight locations in Juba where UN Protection force might be stationed in case of a crisis.

In response, UNMISS issued a statement on Thursday denying circulating a document of which it said is aware.

“UNMISS wishes to reiterate again that this note is not a document or policy of UNMISS. There have been no changes to UNMISS posture,” said David Shearer, head of the UN mission.

“There have been no new deployments considered or planned. As per UNMISS’s usual practice, we continue to monitor closely the situation in the country, including Juba, to enable us carry out our mandated tasks.”

The alleged security alert angered South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The government on Tuesday described the alert as being based on politically motivated purposes and unsubstantiated facts on the ground.

The Ministry warned the UN and NGOs to desist from issuing such allegations which it says are only meant to create panic and havoc among South Sudanese.

Both UK and US governments have advised their citizens against traveling to South Sudan, with US embassy in Juba raising the alert to Level 4 – citing crime, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

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