UN and Africa: UN refugee chief in Somalia, closing of POC site and 'Childhood under Attack' in South Sudan

21 December 2017

First closure of civilian protection site in South Sudan

Hundreds of families who had been sheltering at a UN camp in South Sudan are returning home due to improved security.  That's according to the UN mission in the country, UNMISS, which for the first time has closed one of its protection of civilian sites, or POCs.  These locations provide sanctuary for internally displaced people (IDPs) who have fled conflict which broke out four years ago.  Irene Lasu has been speaking to Sam Muhumure, the mission's Senior Coordination Officer for Relief, Reintegration and Protection.  He explained how other partners, including the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have been supporting the return of people from the POC site in the town of Melut, located in the Upper Nile Region.

UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi visits newly built shelter home of a Somali returnee in Kismayo, southern Somalia.  UNHCR/Georgina Goodwin

Despite progress, Somalia still needs support:UN refugee chief

The international community is being urged to continue supporting efforts to restore and rebuild Somalia.  UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi made the appeal during a visit to the country this week.  Decades of political instability coupled with armed violence, poverty, drought and other natural hazards, have displaced scores of Somalis: either within the country or across the border.  But many are returning home. Dianne Penn reports.

A young girl walks along the edge of a drainage chanel in the POC site in Bentiu, South Sudan. ©UNICEF/UN043961/Holt

'Childhood under Attack' in South Sudan fighting: UNICEF

Four years of insecurity and upheaval in South Sudan have had a "staggering impact on children," putting an entire generation at risk.  That's according to Childhood under Attack, a report launched on Friday by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).  The fighting between rival factions has resulted in more than 2,300 child deaths, while nearly 3 million are going hungry and nearly as many have been forced from their homes.  Sebit Williams has been speaking to UNICEF Communications Officer in South Sudan, Tim Irwin.

Presenter:  Dianne Penn

Production Assistant:  Fatima E. Mendez

Duration:  10'00"

Feature Photo:  Children bathe in a lake formed by excavation pits in the Protection of Civilians site in Bentiu, South Sudan, Friday 28 April 2017. Some children have drowned swimming in these lakes. Nationwide, only 41% of children have access to safe, clean water. ©UNICEF/UN068325/Hatcher-Moore

Audio Duration:
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