Peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) regularly conduct firewood patrols for women from the Mission’s Protection of Civilians’ site (POC) in Bentiu.
Such patrols are organized to give protection to civilians as they go about their normal activities outside the protection site. The women leave early in the morning to go and find firewood and charcoal, and return later in the day.
According to the patrol commander, Ghanaian Staff Sergeant Mills, the peacekeepers have not witnessed any case of sexual assault along the patrol route for the last eight months during their deployment.
Sgt. Mills stressed, “It’s our duty to escort them in and out. And as a peacekeeper, I feel great to be part of peacekeepers to help civilians in South Sudan.”
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.