UNMISS opens new compound in Kuajok
2 July 2013 - Warrap State governor Nyandeng Malek congratulated the people of her state and UNMISS at today's formal inauguration of the mission's new compound in the state capital Kuajok.
"This is what we've been longing for," said the governor. "UNMISS isn't going to be here forever, there will come a time when we are stabilized completely, and they will leave this compound as a place for us to use for other purposes."
Located on a 2500 square metre property seven kilometres southwest of Kuajok Town that was donated by the state government, the new compound is home to about 120 military, UN Police and civilian staff members.
Construction started in November 2011 when the Chinese Construction Engineering Company began clearing the site. Fifty-seven South Sudanese independent contractors were employed during the 19-month-long construction phase.
UNMISS Chief of Staff Paul Egunsola hailed the new compound as a prime example of the mission's state policy of decentralizing its structure. He also noted that construction of permanent accommodation recently commenced at an UNMISS county support base in the Warrap State community of Turalei.
"Decentralization is a deliberate approach we have chosen as the best means for supporting our South Sudanese counterparts," said Mr. Egunsola, who led a 13-person delegation of Juba-based staff members. "That means our focus is not in Juba but in the states and counties."
Accompanied by the state's Deputy Governor Akoch Tong Aleu, the Speaker of the Warrap State Legislative Assembly and various ministers, Ms. Malek urged UNMISS and other organizations operating in her state to serve as goodwill ambassadors for Warrap.
"Try to improve the image that this state or this region is full of violence," said the governor. "It is not full of violence. In any other area besides cattle camps, people are safe enough."
UNMISS Warrap State Coordinator Abraham Onifade thanked senior state government officials and key members of the mission's team in Kuajok for their roles in completing construction of the compound.
"This is our home, this is our office," said Mr. Onifade. "We promise to take good care of it."
Members of the Chinese Construction Engineering Company staged an exhibition of traditional dancing and martial arts at the conclusion of the inauguration ceremony.