UNMISS renews trust and confidence through leadership seminar in Eastern Equatoria state
“It’s now clear to us how UNPOL, military peacekeepers, and civilian staff work,” said Joseph Oswaha, the mayor of Torit, Eastern Equatoria.
Mr. Oswaha was speaking at a three-day leadership seminar organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
The objective: To increase knowledge about the UN Peacekeeping mission and its mandate across the world’s youngest nation as the latter begins the slow but sure transition from civil war to a durable peace.
The interactive sessions, facilitated by UNPOL officers and other mission staff, were attended by government partners, women’s groups, youth associations, civil society groups and media partners.
“We have received several trainings that focus on government and the UN mission’s support for peace, rights of children, full and equal participation of women in decision-making as well as protection of citizens. However, any new opportunities to strengthen our understanding are always welcome,” averred Martha Ojara Ettore, Director General, state Ministry of Finance.
Participants were taken through diverse topics such as human rights, gender equality, child protection, and the role played by UNPOL in building trust and confidence among local communities, among other things.
“While working with local police, we discovered a few hindrances in collaboratively working together. Thankfully, this leadership seminar enabled us to address such challenges and work together effectively,” said Tashi Phunsho, an UNPOL officer serving with UNMISS.
Participants were also sensitized on their collective responsibility as citizens of South Sudan to contribute to implementing provisions contained within the Revitalized Peace Agreement, upholding the rule of law, protecting and educating children, ensuring women’s voices are heard and included in all levels of governance as well as mitigating community disputes.
“Law and order are everybody’s responsibility. As citizens, you have a duty to identify miscreants and report any wrongdoing to authorities. Through community policing, you are empowered to apprehend criminals to face the law,” said Caroline Waudo, the Head of the UNMISS Field Office in the state.
Similar awareness-raising sessions on the UNMISS mandate are scheduled to take place across all 10 states.