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UPDF takes over protection of UN camp in Bor

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By RISDEL KASASIRA & CHRISTINE WANJALA

Posted  Monday, April 21  2014 at  20:40
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KAMPALA.
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces have taken over the protection of a United Nations camp with more than 5,000 internally displaced persons in South Sudan .

The army spokesperson said they intervened to save the camp from being overrun by militia groups following a resurgence of violence there following weeks of lull.

The action was prompted after last week’s deadly attack, Lt Col Paddy Ankunda said, adding that they intevened to save the displaced persons even when the Ugandan military did not have a direct mandate to protect UN facilities.

“We intervened and saved the camp from being overrun by the militias and as we talk now, we are protecting over 5,000 internally displaced persons. We are also protecting the UN base,” Col Ankunda said.
The decision follows last week’s deadly attack on the camp by armed youths that left 58 people dead.

Daily Monitor was unable to reach the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission on the latest development.

UNMISS yesterday said rebels loyal to South Sudan’s former vice president Riek Machar “massacred” and injured hundreds of civilians in their last week’s onslaught to capture Bentiu oil city, AFP, reported.

The UN has more than 13,000 forces in South Sudan, but President Salva Kiir’s government accused them of supporting the rebels, an allegation the UN has denied.

The UN camp is a few meters from the UPDF base established after the UPDF pushed the rebels loyal former vice president, Riek Maachar out of Bor in January.

Nhial Majak Nhial, the Mayor of Bor told Daily Monitor yesterday that UPDF and SPLA had deployed heavily around Bor to prevent escalation of violence.

Intensifying surveillance
Mr Nhia said the violent incident occurred when a group of protesting youth broke into the compound overpowering the UN peacekeepers who had earlier fired in the air to disperse them.

The UPDF said they had intensified surveillance efforts in the town of Bor. UPDF publicist in South Sudan Capt Isaac Oware speaking from Juba, said, “We are working with the SPLA and South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS) in doubling efforts to secure the town and its outskirts especially in the areas we have identified as suspect to harbor those plotting to disturb the peace.”

The UPDF, which deployed in South Sudan in December, has been supporting the SPLA and SSNPS in intelligence, surveillance and patrols.
The commissioner for refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr David Apollo Kazungu, said about 150 refugees have been arriving in Adjumani district daily for the last one week.