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    Head of UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan Announces Step Down

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    Ellen Margrethe Loj, head of UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan said she would step down in late November.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Ellen Margrethe Loj, head of UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan, told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday that she would step down in late November.

    “Although the road ahead will be challenging, I remain hopeful that peace will prevail and that this young nation will finally live out its great promise. I look forward to the day where the girls and boys of South Sudan will never know the trauma of war again and will be able to actualize their full potential,” Loj said in a statement, as quoted by the UNMISS website.

    She said that she was going to retire in August when her contract ended but decided to remain amid escalation of the situation in South Sudan in July.

    Ban's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said that the UN secretary-general was very thankful to Loj for her dedication, commitment and important contributions.

    Loj was appointed by Ban as his Special Representative and head of the UN Mission in South Sudan in July 2014.

    An armed conflict erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, a year and a half after the nation gained independence from Sudan.

    According to aid organizations, more than four million people have been displaced and 300,000 killed in the ensuing violence.

    Related:

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    South Sudan Soldiers Killed Civilians, Raped Women - UN Human Rights Chief
    UN Chief Concerned About Fighting in South Sudan, Boosts Peacekeeper Force
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