JUBA, May 29 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan on Tuesday honored peacekeepers who paid the ultimate price in line of duty to protect lives and help restore peace in the world's newest nation.
Speaking during a UN 70th peacekeepers day in Juba, Deputy Special Representative of Secretary General and head of UN mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, said peacekeepers are faced with grave challenges in South Sudan but consistently and unswervingly support the cause for peace in the country.
"So today we mourn the loss of colleagues, for example, in recent attacks in Malia, Central African Republic and South Sudan in particular. We remember very kindly 55 who have died in UNMISS since 2011," he said.
Shearer said the mission is mandated to protect civilians and to help build a durable peace in South Sudan.
"Some of our colleagues have paid the ultimate price in the line of duty across the world, and more than 3,000 has died in the line of duty including 134 of those died last year alone," he said.
South Sudan's conflict that has now entered its fifth year erupted in 2013 after forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar engaged in combat.
The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital, Juba, forcing Machar to flee into exile.
Millions of South Sudanese civilians have sought refuge in neighboring countries as the conflict rages on despite attempts by international players to end it.