January 24, 2018, The head of UNMISS David Sheerer said that “We’ve had several requests to be there” in Akobo, U.N. mission chief David Shearer told The Associated Press, calling the gap in services there significant. The first peacekeepers are expected to arrive in the next few weeks” he said The head of UNMISS confirmed this week that UNMISS agreed to have a base in Akoba for the first time since 2013 when UNMISS left Akoba.
However, this seems to be ironical according to citizens of Bieh State because when Yuai and Waat were captured by the government forces, Koang Rambang did not call for the UNMISS which seem to be imminent now.
South Sudan’s government has repeatedly said that any attacks it has carried out during the cease-fire are only in self-defense.
The opposition government in Akobo said it hoped the U.N. peacekeepers will hold those responsible for the fighting to account.
“If we’re attacked they’ll be witness and can respond,” said Gatluak Gatkek, deputy for Akobo’s humanitarian arm of the government. “If there’s an attack on civilians they can go onto the base and be protected.”
But the new U.N. presence will be different from its nine other bases around the country, with six of them sheltering more than 200,000 civilians after they threw open their doors in an unprecedented move when the civil war erupted in December 2013.
The U.N. said it is trying a different strategy in Akobo, with peacekeepers flying in for a few days every week rather than setting up something permanent. The new base is a small house with a yard surrounded by barbed wire.
The idea is to take a more “nimble and proactive approach” to peacekeeping, U.N. mission chief Shearer said, which will allow the mission to respond rapidly in areas where the security and humanitarian situation deteriorates.