17 March 2014 The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says it is in the process of relocating civilians displaced amid the recent conflict to better shelter ahead of coming rains.
Some 706,000 people have been displaced since fighting between pro- and anti-Government forces began in mid-December 2013, 77,000 of whom are seeking refuge at UNMISS bases.
The Mission will be providing protection by escorting buses, transporting internally displaced people between its Tomping Compound in the capital, Juba, and the UN House.
“The Mission says that the congestion of sites, compounded by the coming rains, remains a major challenge,” UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told reporters in New York.
“The Mission is seeking to expand sites in Malakal, Bentiu, Bor and Juba. And it is also creating new areas for civilians to seek safety in Juba and Bor.”
In Bor, in Jonglei state, the Mission notes that civilians have been seen rebuilding their homes and that trading activity in the town has increased and basic foods are available.
Ten days ago, the first major rainstorm of the season caused flooding and destroyed or damaged hundreds of tents in an UNMISS base in Juba. The tents were able to be fixed and there were no reports of injured civilians.
The UN and its partners are working to develop ways to mitigate the risks of flooding and associated health and safety concerns.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue