Via MSF.org: South Sudan: Report details UN's failures in protecting civilians in Malakal. Excerpt:
Barcelona/Juba - Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has released a report into the peacekeeping and humanitarian response following the attack on the Malakal Protection of Civilians Site (PoC) on 17-18 February. The report finds that despite a strong military presence at the PoC site, as well as a clear mandate to protect civilians, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) failed in its duty to safeguard the people living at the site and could well have averted many fatalities.
The report also shows how most humanitarian actors working in the site found themselves hamstrung and unable to respond to the acute needs of IDPs during the crisis. UN security rules prevented their intervention during a short yet acute emergency gap when the need was the greatest.
When fighting erupted inside the PoC on 17 February, and later when a heavily armed external force attacked the PoC, UNMISS failed to take any immediate action. By the time hostilities ended a day later, varying reports state that between 25 and 65 civilians had died, over 108 were wounded and more than 30,000 were displaced.
Assessments conducted after the attack show that over 3,700 shelters, or one-third of the site, was burned down. The war-weary IDP population were left traumatised and had to rebuild their lives in the ashes of the camp.
When commenting on the report's launch Raquel Ayora, Director of Operations with MSF said, “Our investigation shows that UNMISS did not fulfil its mandate to protect civilians as set by the Security Council: prior to the attack, they failed to prevent the flow of weapons entering the camp; they chose not to intervene when initial fighting broke out in the camp, and when an attack came from outside the camp they were extremely slow to repel the assault.”