12 Jul 2017
The head of the UN Mission in South Sudan has expressed “grave concern” at the ongoing situation in Pagak town, a stronghold for opposition forces in the Upper Nile region.
David Shearer, who is also the Special Representative of the Secretary General, made the remarks during a news conference in the capital Juba on Wednesday.
Jocelyne Sambira has more.
At least 25 aid workers have been forced to relocate from Pagak and the surrounding areas because of growing insecurity, Mr Shearer said.
“Reports suggest that government forces are now approaching the town of Maiwut, 25 kilometres north-west of Pagak. I am gravely concerned by this ongoing situation. In addition, while it is not clear which side began the fighting; the military advance by the SPLA is not in the spirit of the unilateral ceasefire declared by the Government in May of this year when it opened the national dialogue.”
The Special Representative warned that the outbreak of fighting risks cutting access to humanitarian aid in the area.
Civilian lives were also at risk with 5,000 people north of Pagak, registering in the town as they pass through towards Ethiopia seeking refuge, he added, citing reports by the International Migration Organization or IOM.
Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.