High-level delegation visits Yambio to discuss peace and development
A high-level delegation led by Alain Noudehou, head of the United Nations humanitarian operations in South Sudan, have visited Yambio to assess challenges and opportunities for peace and development in the Western Equatoria region.
The delegation, which included several donors, ambassadors and representatives from UN agencies and non-governmental organizations, stayed for a day and a half and met with local authorities and a variety of civil society organizations, traders, faith-based groups and community leaders.
Mr. Noudehou, who is also the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in South Sudan, explained that the purpose of the visit was to evaluate what has been done to achieve peace and development over the last few years and how the international community can continue to assist the local government.
“Our visit is an opportunity to identify gaps of engagement so that we, together with the government, can come up with an effective partnership to achieve recovery and resilience,” he said.
In meetings with a variety of key stakeholders, everybody agreed that working together in a nimble, proactive and transparent manner is the best way to ensure durable peace and continuous development.
The chairperson of the network of civil society’s organizations, Mr. Wanga Emmanuel, appreciated the way the delegation brought all civil society together at one table with the host government to discuss their concerns and possible solutions.
“Our request to them was to train our government officials on how to keep law and order and to make sure that resources are distributed equally, because that will make things better.procedure in everything and equal distribution of resources this will be better. It is good that the needs of the grass roots are taken into account,” Mr. Emmanuel said.
Mr. James Ragoyo, a local trader, was optimistic after meeting the visiting party.
“I believe they will do something about our needs, because our communities have been very much affected by the conflict,” he said.
The governor of the area, Badagbu Daniel Rimbasa, expressed his gratefulness for the robust support shown and given by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, UN agencies and other development partners, adding that peace has now been largely prevailing for eleven months.
“We need to continue the change from a culture of war into one of peace, and look for partners to support us to enable our community to develop and to embark on agriculture,” the governor said.
Mr. Rimbasa stressed that his priority is to maintain peace in the region and continue the process of reintegration of those armed forces who are yet to reunite with the SPLA. Equally important, the governor said, is to increase agricultural activities to guarantee food security not only in Western Equatoria but also in other parts of the country.
To further develop the quality of life of the people in the region, Mr. Rimbasa advocated for the establishment of vocational training centres, micro finance programmes and schools, particularly in areas which have been largely abandoned because of the conflict in the country.