UNMISS Force Commander visits Yambio, assesses operations and security situation

unmiss south sudan protection of civilians mohan subramanian force commander western equatoria yambio ethiopia

Force Commander Mohan Subramanian recently visited Yambio to meet newly deployed Ethiopian peacekeepers; interact with senior state government officials and assess key security as well as operational issues on the ground. Photo by Martin Siba/UNMISS

8 Aug 2023

UNMISS Force Commander visits Yambio, assesses operations and security situation

Martin Siba

WESTERN EQUATORIA – Two years ago, an upsurge of conflict in the greater Tambura region of South Sudan’s Western Equatoria state led to tremendous loss of life, largescale displacement, and destruction of property.

Today, the state is slowly recovering from the scars of conflict.

Against this backdrop, Lieutenant General Mohan Subramanian, Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recently visited Yambio for two days.

His focus: Assessing operational concerns and the security situation so that Blue Helmets from the UN Peacekeeping mission can continue protecting civilians and proactively mitigating potential conflict.

“We deployed a new rotation of Ethiopian peacekeepers and I wanted to see firsthand, how they are building relationships with the communities on the ground,” said the top military official.

“Additionally, I interacted with several senior leaders in the state, including the Governor, to get a sense of the political landscape and see how our peacekeepers can help the government in its efforts to build a sustained peace here,” added Force Commander Subramanian.

“Our aim is to always strengthen partnerships with South Sudanese interlocuters so that we can function more smoothly in terms of our operations and ensure civilians are safe,” he explained.

Alfred Futuyo, Governor of Western Equatoria, agreed.

“We understand that UNMISS peacekeepers are here to help us and I am happy to meet with Force Commander Subramanian. Through their patrols, peacekeepers build community confidence and help us, as the government, to ensure there is peace and security for all residents of the state. In case there are any operational issues with mobility of peacekeepers we stand ready to intervene and rectify such situation. We are here to work together for the South Sudanese people,” stated Governor Futuyo.

The Force Commander used the opportunity to meet with senior UNMISS staff at the mission’s Field Office and encourage military officers serving for peace under his command.

“Our troops work in tough conditions every day and as Force Commander, it is incumbent upon me to make sure I meet with them regularly and understand the unique challenges they face. I’m happy to say that our Blue Helmets are doing a good job here in Western Equatoria.”