Bentiu residents committed to working with UNMISS to implement new mandate

9 Apr 2018

Bentiu residents committed to working with UNMISS to implement new mandate

Jacob Ruai

Efforts to explain the new mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan and build trust and confidence with the community are underway with the first of a series of workshops held in Bentiu.

The United Nations Security Council recently renewed the Mission’s mandate to protect civilians and build durable peace in the conflict-affected country until 15 March 2019. In an effort to raise awareness about the mandate, the UNMISS Communications and Public Information team held a workshop with more than 50 participants in Bentiu, in the Unity region of South Sudan, including army and police officers, local authorities and civil society organisations.

“We have learnt that one of the Mission’s objectives is to support the implementation of the Peace Agreement. As the people of this land, we need to reconcile and forgive ourselves so that we can move our country forward,” said Oil Field Unit Commander, Brigadier General Stephen Thiey Yar.

The UN provides sanctuary to more than 110,000 internally displaced people living in a protection site next to its base in Bentiu. More than 40,000 are children aged under four-years-old. It is hoped that, as the area becomes more secure, these people will be able to return to their communities.

“The security situation in town is calm,” said the Brigadier General. “We are providing very good security.  I am calling on people who are still in UN camps to come outside and go back to their homes.”

Through the training workshop - the first of its kind in the Unity region - it is hoped that improving understanding of the Mission’s peacekeeping role among the local population will help boost trust between UNMISS and the community.

“We are happy that we learned more about UNMISS work in South Sudan,” said Mary Nyakuon Diu, a representative from a women’s group. “As women, we will work closely with UNMISS especially on peacebuilding and reconciliation.”