UNMISS pledges support for security challenges in WBEG

9 Jun 2012

UNMISS pledges support for security challenges in WBEG

8 June 2012 - One of the biggest challenges facing South Sudan's Western Bahr El-Ghazal (WBEG) State was insecurity along the border between Sudan and South Sudan, a top government official said today in Wau.

Meeting with visiting UNMISSForce Commander Major General Moses Obi, WGEB Governor Rizzig Hassan added that landmines complicated matters in the Kafia Kingy and Bor Medina areas.

Kafia Kingy was currently in the hands of the Sudanese Armed Forces, and Bor Medina was controlled by the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), the governor said.

Major Obi said UNMISS had noted the state's challenges and was working to resolve them. His visit would "assess the security situation in WBEG and the current working relationship between the state government, the SPLA and UNMISS military contingents".

On the restricted movement of UNMISS forces on the ground, Governor Rizzig pointed to challenges in areas being bombed. "We do not have control over those areas because ... (they) are under the control of Khartoum militias, and our fear is that they may fall into (the) wrong hands."

Participating earlier in a medal parade to recognize the UNMISS Kenya Battalion in Wau, Major Obi commended the soldiers "for their role in the protection of civilians, such as during the Jonglei (State) crisis, which is outside their area of operation".

Supported by the UNMISS Chinese and Indian contingents, the Kenyan medal parade was attended by UNMISS staff and representatives of the SPLA.

Also present at the ceremony were officials from Mary Help Nursing College and the Catholic Health Training Institute, which are both supported by Kenyan battalion lecturers and medical personnel.

The Force Commander was accompanied by members of UNMISS Juba Civil Affairs and the Juba SPLA.

The previous day, Major Obi visited the Lakes State capital of Rumbek, where he expressed satisfaction with disarmament in the state in meetings with UNMISS State Coordinator Renuka Chidambaram and Governor Chol Tong Myay.

The Force commander urged UNMISS military in Lakes to work closely with civil authorities and the SPLA to support the South Sudanese government and protect civilians.