UNMISS launches peace outreach campaign in Aweil North County

Thousands came to an UNMISS event in Aweil North County to enjoy music, dancing and information about the country's peace process. Photos: Deng Mou/UNMISS

12 Jun 2023

UNMISS launches peace outreach campaign in Aweil North County

Deng Mou/Filip Andersson

NORTHERN-BAHR-EL-GHAZAL – Everyone can do something for peace, and on this day, under the theme “Peace Begins with Me”, the time had come to Pamat in Aweil North County. More than 5,000 people heeded the call and showed up for a festival organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the state’s Ministry of Peacebuilding.

“The benefits of peace are numerous. It brings roads, hospitals, schools, and freedom of movement. It also means that I can cultivate,” said Garang Bol, who joined in the dancing and singing at the event and appreciated the updates on the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement provided.

“Some of the provisions of that deal were not yet implemented, and for this reason, a new document, the roadmap, was developed. It includes deadlines for what needs to be done by certain points in time during the reminder of the transitional period,” Peter Tong, Director General of the Ministry of Peacebuilding, explained to the crowd, adding that elections are now scheduled for December 2024, two years later than previously hoped.

Among many clauses, the peace agreement stipulates that youth and women are to be given substantial political participation and representation.

“We are your sisters, wives, and mothers. We must share responsibilities and resources if we are to build sustainable peace,” declared Achol Ngong Akok, Chairperson of the local women’s association. “Women must be included in political and administrative contexts, as well as in the army and the police,” she added.

“Peace Begins with Me” events are to be conducted in all five counties of Northern-Bahr-El-Ghazal. Apart from learning more about the progress of the peace process, the drafting of a permanent constitution and other tasks waiting to be undertaken, participants also learn more about the role and mandate of UNMISS in South Sudan.