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UN hands over PoCs in Juba to the government

Author: Woja Emmanuel | Published: Wednesday, November 18, 2020

David Shearer, outgoing head of UN Mission in South Sudan, May 14, 2019 | Credit Joakino Francis/Eye Radio

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan has handed to the government the responsibility of the Protection of Civilians Site in Juba, the head of the UN Mission, David Shearer has said.

In September, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan said it had begun withdrawing its troops from POCs in Bor and Wau, leaving them under the jurisdiction of the government of South Sudan.

The transition was to allow the government to have the primary responsibility for protecting all its citizens living in the former PoC sites.

The decision was however faced by stiff resistance from the members of the PoCs demanding that UNMISS wait until state governments are formed, and security arrangements implemented before handing over the camps to South Sudanese authorities.

David Shearer, the head of UNMISS in South Sudan and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.

Shearer told the press in Juba on Tuesday the process was reached on Monday after consultations with several stakeholders including the security and the local communities.

“Today, I am pleased to inform you that the Juba PoCs as of yesterday [Monday] has now been re-designated as IDP camp as followed a long and careful process planning alongside humanitarians and in consultation with government and local governments, the security services and of course the communities themselves,” the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan said.

“The government now has sovereign responsibility for the site as it does with many other sites in the country.”

Shearer stated that the IDP camps will not be closed and people will not be forced to leave.

Instead, he added, with careful planning and support over time, it is hoped that the residents will voluntarily and safely return to their homes to live peaceful and prosperous lives.

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