UNMISS initiative bridges gaps between South Sudan’s security forces

Peace South Sudan UNMISS UN peacekeeping peacekeepers elections capacity building forces reconciliation

In Unity State and Ruweng Administrative Area, UNMISS organized a training for approximately 600 members of the South Sudan security forces, aimed to bridge possible gaps between different groups within them. Photo by Peter Bateman/UNMISS.

1 Jul 2024

UNMISS initiative bridges gaps between South Sudan’s security forces

Denis Louro

UNITY / RUWENG – "No matter which faction you are a part of, we are one South Sudanese. We must reunite to build our nation.”

That was the message from Brigadier General Liep Bol Lam, a senior member of South Sudan’s security forces, at a training facilitated by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to enhance protection of civilians.

The program brought together 600 men and women, including senior officers, across various locations in both Unity State and the Ruweng Administrative Area (RAA), to establish a unified front amongst different factions.

The training sessions focused on effectively protecting civilians and conducting awareness campaigns within their respective barracks and outposts. This initiative marked the first joint training between opposing forces in the region since forced relocations of factions from Bentiu in 2023.

Cephus Diggs, the representative for the Protection, Transition and Reintegration team at UNMISS’ Bentiu Field Office, highlighted why it is the government forces that must lead the protection of their people.

"Ensuring the safety and well-being of citizens is the duty of governments and their security forces. It is essential that our forces lead by example, upholding human rights and providing unwavering protection to all civilians," he said.

The program also provided a platform for discussing the return and reintegration of displaced people, a critical aspect of stabilizing the region.

As South Sudan unifies the country’s armed groups, according to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, adopting best practices for civilian protection is crucial.