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No word on peacekeepers

Shalveen Chand
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

POLICE are yet to receive word from the UN or the contingent commander of any adverse situation directly affecting Fijian police officers stationed in South Sudan in Africa, says Acting Commissioner of Police Ravi Narayan.

Last week rebels disguised as protestors opened fire at a UN base killing many civilians and injuring two peacekeepers.

At this time it's not known which country the peacekeepers are from.

Fiji has 24 police officers serving as peacekeepers in South Sudan.

Mr Narayan said police were yet to be informed if any drastic step would be taken by the UN after the increase in violence in the region.

"This is usually the process," he said.

"We wait for their advice before any decisions are made regarding our officers currently serving there."

The UN Mission in South Sudan issued a statement saying rebel forces entered the town of Bentiu in Unity State and separated groups of residents — who had sought refuge in churches, mosques and hospitals — according to their ethnicity and nationality.

Members of the ethnic Nuer group who did not support the rebels, along with South Sudanese people from other ethnic groups and Darfuris from Sudan, were targeted and killed, the statement said.

Violence in South Sudan began last December when clashes erupted between soldiers loyal to President Salva Kiir and the former vice-president Riek Machar.

Five police officers left Fiji in February for South Sudan to join the 19 already there.

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