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UN completes extraction of over 750 S. Sudanese armed oppostion fighters
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September 13, 2016 (JUBA) – The number of South Sudan’s armed opposition
fighters so far extracted from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC) has reached over 750, according to the United Nations spokesperson,
[image: JPEG - 65.2 kb]*First batch of SPLA-IO forces who arrived in Juba
on 28 March 2016 (ST Photo)*
“In addition to information we shared with you on Friday, the UN
Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), has
continued to extract this group of individuals from the Garamba National
Park in the DRC. Yesterday the Peacekeeping Mission extracted an additional
118 persons on humanitarian grounds,” Dujarric said in a statement.
“To date 752 individuals affiliated with the SPLM/A-IO have been
extracted,” he added.
Among those extracted, he explained, 631 are in UN-run facilities in three
locations inside the DRC, with some receiving medical treatment while
others recovering from exhaustion.
“Security arrangements are in place in all locations,” Dujarric said.
He said the UN has continued to engage with both the DRC and the South
Sudan authorities as well as regional actors to encourage them to find a
solution to the presence of South Sudanese armed individuals in the
territory of the DRC.
“Authorities of both countries are regularly informed of actions taken on
the ground,” said Dujarric.
"All of those extracted were disarmed before boarding UN helicopters and
the UN mission has those weapons secured," he further stressed.
The UN, however, reiterated that its operations were conducted on
humanitarian grounds and within the role of contributing to stability in
the DRC. It said authorities in South Sudan and of the DRC were all
notified the UN’s actions on the ground.
"The UN continues to engage with both DRC and South Sudan authorities to
find a solution to the presence of South Sudan fighters within the
territory of the DRC," said the UN official.
Meanwhile, the armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) has confirmed that dozens
of their officers who were extracted together with its leader Riek Machar
in the DRC have already arrived in Pagak, the General Headquarters, at the
“Yes, some of our officers who were accompanying our leader from Juba to
the DR Congo have already arrived in Pagak,” Machar’s spokesperson, James
Gatdet Dak, told *Sudan Tribune* Tuesday.
He said officers who arrived in Pagak last week included military
spokesman, Colonel William Gatjiath Deng, extracted together with Machar at
DRC border on 17 August.
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