UNMISS hands over DDR facility groundworks in Mapel

2 Sep 2012

UNMISS hands over DDR facility groundworks in Mapel

29 August 2012 - Assisting to bring former combatants back into society, the UNMISS Chinese contingent handed over the groundworks for a training facility today in Mapel, Western Bahr El-Ghazal State.

The ceremony marked the departure of UNMISS' Chinese contingent, who completed the groundwork construction of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) transitional facility, which was handed over the state DDR Commission.

Speaking at the event, South Sudanese Vice-president Riak Machar stressed the importance of training for ex-combatants and Mapel citizens in the fields of farming, carpentry and mechanics.

He also emphasized the need for broader security sector reform, pointing to DDR's position as a front runner in the process."We have to restructure our finances and human resources differently."

The Vice-President said the government envisioned that a successful national DDR programme would have prevented conflict, strengthened security, cultivated socio-economic development and fostered sustainable peace by 2020.

UNMISS Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Toby Lanzer said the convening of a national DDR council in Juba would be crucial in boosting political support for the process.

In addition to the Mapel facility, the UNMISS Chinese contingent have assisted the state with several projects, including the clearing of Sudan People's Liberation Army farmland and a sports field for the Catholic Health Training Institute, according to its commander, Col. Wang Zhonghwa.