10 March 2011- In the wake of growing insecurity in the Greater Upper Nile area, UNMIS officials visited affected states to assess the humanitarian situation and immediate needs of residents.
"We came here to review the situation in Unity, Upper Nile as well as Jonglei (states) to see what we can do to support any kind of resolution that might be required," said UNMIS Southern Sudan Regional Coordinator David Gressly.
UNMIS Chief of Public Information Hua Jiang and state coordinators from Jonglei, (Rose Sakala), Upper Nile (Hendrik Bruyn) and Unity (Kwame Dwamena Aboagye) states accompanied Mr. Gressly on his visit.
They met with Upper Nile State Governor Lt. Gen. Simon Kun Pouch to discuss various issues, including the security situation, border demarcation and the future of UNMIS.
In a press statement, UNMIS urged the Government of Southern Sudan to address security threats within the confines of international humanitarian law. The mission called on all parties to refrain from any actions and activities that could harm civilians or endanger their lives and property.
Mr. Gressly said the mission looked forward to working with the government in helping to resolve the security situation and dealing with humanitarian consequences that could arise.
In recent weeks, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) have clashed with rebel forces, leaving hundreds dead and wounded. Between 7 and 8 March, armed forces loyal to a militia leader, Oliny, clashed with SPLA forces in Upper Nile, leaving over 60 people dead. In February, SPLA forces in Jonglei State clashed with elements aligned to rebel leader George Athor, leaving an estimated 200 people dead.