UNMISS raises awareness of mandate with SPLA
23 February 2012 - To build confidence and share information on the UNMISS mandate, Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and military operations, the mission launched the first of a series of sensitization seminars for the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) today in Juba.
"UNMISS is a new mission with a new mandate and a new approach," said UNMISS Chief of Staff Paul Egunsola, addressing the gathering.
He said UNMISS would support South Sudan in preventing, mitigating and resolving conflict, protecting civilians and laying foundations to govern effectively as well as democratically.
The mission would also assist the new nation to strengthen security and rule of law institutions, monitor and prevent human rights violations and build foundations for sustainable development, Mr. Egunsola said.
The seminar, which brought together members of SPLA headquarters and commanders from the Greater Equatorial states, representatives from the South Sudan Police Service and UNMISS, also provided a platform to share views on security challenges and strengthen collaboration.
UNMISS Force Commander Major General Moses Bisong Obi said he hoped the session would entrench existing cooperation between the government and SPLA on the one hand "and UNMISS and the UN family on the other hand, towards the smooth implementation of the UNMISS mandate".
Government of South Sudan Deputy Defence Minister Majak D' Agoot, said, "I appreciate the initiative of UNMISS and want to urge them to maintain such collaboration with SPLA in the future."
Other participants included the SPLA Chief of General Staff, the Inspector General of South Sudan Police Services (SSPS), officers commanding SPLA Divisions, SPLA Principal Staff Officers and Defence Attaches.
Similar seminars will be organized at state levels, starting with Wau and Malakal.
The UNMISS military component holds regular coordination meetings with SPLA representatives and conducts joint field visits to troops and SPLA field commands to enhance understanding and increase cooperation at all levels.
The UN Mission in South Sudan was established on 8 July 2011.