Lessons Learned from South Sudan Protection of Civilian Sites 2014-2015 is a snapshot and analysis of the formulation and administration of protection of civilian sites gathered from interviews of IDPs, stakeholders, partners and decision makers.
Violence broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, forcing tens of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to seek protection at UN peacekeeping bases, leading to an unprecedented situation for both the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and humanitarian agencies. Due to the scale of violence of the crisis, the desperate and immediate needs in the newly termed protection of civilian (PoC) sites have been overwhelming and required considerable flexibility to save lives and mitigate the impacts of the conflict.
The PoC sites have been a considerable achievement for UNMISS, which is protecting more than 200,000 IDPs on a daily basis. Despite the success of the PoC sites as a protection mechanism, much debate has arisen over their sustainability and the resources they demand from the mission. This unique situation has led to considerable differences between stakeholders that function under very different systems and mandates. Significant challenges in the coordination of the response, both between humanitarian agencies and with UNMISS, and the need to define the differing roles and responsibilities have necessitated the establishment of guidelines and synchronized mechanisms to facilitate effective processes.