UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- The UN peacekeeping mission is improving security in its bases across South Sudan to better protect some 65,000 civilians who are seeking shelter there, a UN spokesperson said Thursday.
"Among the security measures put in place are weapons searches and joint UN police and military patrols inside and in the immediate vicinity of all sites," said Associate spokesperson Farhan Haq at a regular briefing.
Weapon searches are being done at all the main bases, which include the capital Juba, Bor in Jonglei state, Bentiu in Unity state, and Malakal in Upper Nile state, according to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Fencing and ditches have been built, and displaced persons coming in and out are systematically screened and controlled, the mission said. It is also planning additional security measures to further strengthen the camp perimeters.
Another 63 additional UN police personnel arrived Wednesday, bringing the total number of UN police reinforcements for the mission to 315, said the UNMISS. The last batch of the additional police units authorized by the UN Security Council last month are expected to arrive by the end of next week. However, Haq said that the mission continues to face restrictions on the movement of ammunition for its troops.
The mission reported Wednesday that a civilian seeking shelter at the base in Malakal was killed Tuesday by a stray bullet when government troops and opposition forces were fighting fiercely near the base. The Mission is protecting some 20,000 civilians at its Malakal site. In mid-December 2013, clashes broke out in South Sudan between two military factions, one descending from the Dinka tribe, to which South Sudan President Salva Kiir belongs, and the other descending from the Nuer tribe, to which ex-vice President Riek Machar belongs. The fighting has escalated even as the parties are negotiating in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa under the patronage of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD). The two sides have failed to reach an agreement on ceasefire so far.