The arrival of 150 Nepalese peacekeepers in Torit is enabling the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to extend its presence through increased patrols across the eastern Equatorian region of South Sudan to help protect civilians and build durable peace.
The Nepalese ‘blue helmets’ are strengthening UNMISS’s ability to react to the unpredictable and volatile security situation in the area, characterized by the intermittent outbreak of conflict and recurrent tensions. Their continued presence will help UNMISS boost security to create a safe and stable environment for the South Sudanese people, and will boost the ability of the Mission to facilitate peace talks in the region.
Prior to the arrival of the Nepalese company, UNMISS had a limited capability in Torit to respond and carry out patrols with only one company of 150 Rwandan peacekeepers. Mounting tensions between opposition and government forces near Torit last July prompted the temporary 2-week deployment of a Nepalese company that helped mitigate conflict and stabilize the situation. The effective response that was possible due to having the two companies prepared to respond, led UNMISS to deploy the additional Nepalese company for a longer period to achieve operational priorities.UNMISS Head of Field Office in Torit, Mary Cummins, highlighted the benefits of having an additional company in Torit. "Now that the Nepalese battalion has arrived and settled in, we are able to expand the UN’s presence and improve situational awareness since we can move outside of Torit more frequently. In future, we hope to establish routines for regular patrols in the town and also initiate night patrols to bolster security in Torit during the evening. The new company allows us to take a flexible and nimble approach in responding to emergent security challenges," she said