UNMISS meets UNISFA in Aweil North County

28 May 2013

UNMISS meets UNISFA in Aweil North County

27 May 2013 - Focusing on the security situation in Northern Bahr El-Ghazal, the top UNMISS official in the state met today in Aweil North County with the military commander from the UN Interim Forces for Abyei (UNISFA).

UNISFA Force Commander Yohannes Tesfa Mariam and UNMISS State Coordinator Seth Kumi held talks with local authorities in Gok Machar, including Country Commissioner Kuol Athuai Hal, Sudan People's Liberation Army Commander James Akoch and two paramount chiefs of the area.

Commander Mariam said the purpose of his visit was to familiarize himself with the situation of Mile 14, a disputed border area that South Sudan declared sovereignty over after its independence from Sudan in 2011.

Commissioner Kuol Athuai Hal said he had come to assess border issues, including IDPs displaced during a recent attack at Kiir Adem. "Their situation is now good. "The international organizations are taking care of them, and they have received food rations, non-food items and tools for cultivation."

SPLA Commander Akoch pointed to payams (districts) north of the Kiir River that were now unprotected, as the SPLA had withdrawn from the area.

Mr. Kumi's main purpose for visiting was to assess construction progress on the Aweil North UNMISS County Support Base. He noted that the base was important due to its proximity with the Sudanese border, but added that its remoteness and bad roads had hindered construction.