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South Sudan issues new entry guidelines for UN staff

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South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation  is to apply new immigration procedures to all personnel of the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) entering the country.

In a statement, the ministry said the UN mission is required to submit names of all its personnel arriving in South Sudan three working days before arrival date for verification.

The ministry’s undersecretary Amb. Joseph Ayok Anei announced that the Directorate of Nationality, Passport and Immigration will no longer grant visas on arrivals at Juba International Airport

‘Only passengers that have been notified to the ministry will be permitted to proceed through immigration and enter the country. The new procedures apply to all UNMISS personnel arriving by both UN and commercial flights,’ the statement was quoted as indicating.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has begun relocating internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Tongping camp, near Juba airport, to Jebel camp, in the outskirts south of the capital.

The decision to relocate people was made due to inadequate humanitarian infrastructure and capacity in Tongping, which currently houses nearly 3,000 people who fled to the site in the wake of recent violence in Juba. It is also intended to provide them with better conditions and humanitarian services that are already in place in the Protection of Civilians site.

“I was asked yesterday about the relocation of people from Tomping Compound in South Sudan, and I can inform you that the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) reports that the initial phase of voluntary relocations of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the Tomping Compound to the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site 3 adjacent to UN House in Juba began today,” Farhan Haq, the Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, told reporters in New York on Thursday.

He said the relocation is a coordinated effort by UNMISS and humanitarian partners, including the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which is providing logistical support.

Haq added that security forces of the government have been informed of the relocation process and will also assist in providing security on the routes the IDPs will use for the relocation to the Jebel camp.

“I was also asked about escorts from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) yesterday. The Mission says that it had sought security assurances from the Government, National Security Service and the SPLA in order to guarantee the safe passage of the displaced people from Tomping to Protection of Civilians site 3,” he said.

He added that UNMISS will be providing force protection to the convoy from Tomping to the final destination, while the Joint Verification Monitoring Mechanism (JVMM), with support from the South Sudan National Police Service, agreed to deploy in strategic areas along the route to ensure the convoy’s timely passage.

Currently, there are about 30,000 IDPs who have taken refuge in a number of UNMISS manned protection camps in the capital, Juba.

 

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