UNMISS Deputy Special Representative and Resident Coordinator for South Sudan tours Torit
EASTERN EQUATORIA – Yesterday, there was palpable excitement among local traders at the Torit meat market in Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan.
The reason: Sarah Beysolow Nyanti, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative and Resident Coordinator for South Sudan was on her maiden visit to the state and the meat market, along with other development projects, was high on her agenda.
DSRSG Nyanti was accompanied by representatives from the UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes, the African Development Bank and members of diplomatic missions to this young nation.
Her main aim – to assess progress made in strengthening the resilience of local communities.
“We are here today to speak with communities, share their concerns and try to get a better understanding of the situation on the ground in terms of laying the foundation for development and peacebuilding,” said the Resident Coordinator. “Another area we are focusing on is evaluating what people need from us on the humanitarian front.”
Following a courtesy call on the state Governor, Ms. Nyanti’s first stop was the newly commissioned Torit meat market, funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), where she spent time with traders and community members who were out and about for a bit of shopping.
“Since it has been reconstructed, hygiene standards at the meat market have improved massively,” stated Alba Karleto, a community member. “Previously, it was very difficult for us to buy clean meat but now it’s a pleasure to come here and shop for the family,” she added with a smile.
Other community members agree that FAO’s timely intervention has positively impacted their lives.
“Earlier, the market would make the entire area smell. It was full of dust and animals would surround the area waiting to eat leftover scraps. But now, the new building is well constructed and has glass windows through which people exchange money for meat. It is so much cleaner and systematic,” averred Abu Hashish Siliman.
The next location that DSRSG Nyanti and her delegation visited was the Torit Vocational Training Centre, where the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is running training sessions in masonry, carpentry, plumbing, tailoring, electrical and information technology to build livelihood skills among beneficiaries, thereby boosting their ability to generate income.
“During 2021, joint support provided by humanitarian and development partners allowed 900 women to benefit from livelihood resilience projects,” revealed Stephen Ihude, economist and Director General, state Ministry of Trade and Industry.
“In the first quarter of this year, 500 more women have been trained on entrepreneurship and received start-up kits,” he added.
Additionally, the South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS) partnered with United Nations Police (UNPOL), the mission's Human Rights Division and UNDP to present on rule of law activities in the state, which was appreciated by Ms. Nyanti.
“Upholding the rule of law is crucial if we are to build community resilience. We hold monthly rule of law fora that assess progress made and gaps that need to be filled. A major challenge for law enforcement personnel is mobility, especially during the rainy season. Many partners have chipped in to help us but more needs to be done to provide us with vehicles so we can effectively serve and protect all communities,” stated Colonel Matthew Ochan, Spokesperson for the SSNPS in Eastern Equatoria.
On the final leg of their tour, DSRSG Nyanti and her delegation participated in an ad hoc Partnership for Recovery and Resilience (PfRR) forum, attended by all peace, humanitarian, and development stakeholders in the state. The objective of the PfRR—promoting integrated solutions to political, peacebuilding, development, humanitarian, security, and environmental challenges, thereby reducing vulnerabilities and increasing resilience amongst the people of South Sudan.
“Our dream is to lift our people out of poverty. We want to be able to feed ourselves and even have surplus to sell in the market. We are ready to usher in development and fully support an inclusive approach to shaping a peaceful, prosperous future for our citizens,” stated Louis Lobong Lojore, Governor of Eastern Equatoria, at the meeting.
For DSRSG Nyanti, it was a busy but productive day.
“It has been rewarding hearing from communities about the challenges they face every day,” said the DSRSG. “But even more vital is the constructive engagement in identifying how we can work together to operationalize the triple nexus where humanitarian, development and peace actors collaborate to help support nation building.”
Ms. Nyanti is also the Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan.