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Maj. Gen William Manyang Mayak, SSPDF infantry division four commander.

SSPDF Commander appreciates role of peacekeepers in protecting civilians

The commander of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) in Unity State, Maj. Gen William Manyang Mayak, said on Monday that without presence of the United Nations peacekeepers (UNMISS) they would no longer have civilians in the state.

“Without UNMISS, we would have no civilians. UNMISS took on the challenging role of protecting the civilians during South Sudan crisis,” Mayak said during commemoration of the International Peacekeepers Day in Bentiu town.

 Mayak said UNMISS has supported several community dialogues and peace conferences to end inter-communal violence and revenge killings that have caused loss of human lives and destruction of property over the past years.

“Currently revenge killings have reduced because of the peace conferences organized by UNMISS,” he disclosed.

Mayak also noted that the 2018 revitalized peace agreement to end years of conflict since eruption in December 2013, would have not been holding if it had not been for the presence of UNMISS.

May 29, annually is celebrated as the International Day of UN Peacekeepers. This year’s celebration marks 75 years since the inception of the UN peacekeeping mission in 1948.

 UNMISS Sector commander in Unity State, Brig. Gen Emmanuel Lokasora, said they remain focused on the protection of civilians.

He said they will continue to protect civilians and facilitate safe delivery of humanitarian assistance.

  “As our peacekeeping day celebration is peace begins with me, UNMISS will continue to extend daily and night patrolling to protect the civilians,” Lokasora said.

 He added that they have lost both national and international aid workers and peacekeepers over the past years since independence of South Sudan in 2011.

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