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UNMISS peacekeepers repel attack on base in famine area (05.05.2017)

Between 11pm and midnight on Wednesday, the Mission’s Temporary Operating Base (TOB) in Leer town in the former Unity State came under small arms attack from the direction of the nearby Government-held town.

JUBA, South Sudan, May 5, 2017 – An attack on a United Nations base has been strongly condemned by the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), David Shearer, as being carried out with callous disregard for the lives for civilians as well as UN and humanitarian workers.

Between 11pm and midnight on Wednesday, the Mission’s Temporary Operating Base (TOB) in Leer town in the former Unity State came under small arms attack from the direction of the nearby Government-held town.

The Ghanaian company of UNMISS peacekeeping forces based there quickly and robustly returned fire, deterring the attack.

David Shearer praised the response of the Ghanaian forces for successfully repelling the attack and remaining on high alert throughout the night.

“They reacted in the best possible manner, according to the true spirit of peacekeeping. Their quick defensive action secured the safety of all of the internally displaced people who had sought UN protection adjacent to the base,” he said.

“We strongly condemn the attack, and call on all parties to the conflict to respect the sanctity of UN premises.

“We are here to protect and support the people of South Sudan. The base is located at Leer for that reason. The people are hungry and deprived as the result of the famine. However, it is clear the attackers have no consideration for their plight, given those who most desperately need help will suffer more because of a likely resulting delay of humanitarian aid,” said David Shearer.

There were no UNMISS or other casualties within the base from the attack.

Currently, there is no confirmation of which party to the conflict carried out the attack. UNMISS is continuing to investigate the incident and will examine whether the TOB needs to be further strengthened.

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