UNMISS welcomes critical graduation of first batch of Necessary Unified Forces for South Sudan
Juba, 30 August 2022: The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) welcomes today’s graduation of more than 20,000 members of the Necessary Unified Forces (NUF) to form a unified national army, police, and other security forces.
The Mission congratulates the parties and the Transitional Government for reaching this critical step, which is a notable political and security development.
“It is critically important to have a unified and inclusive defence apparatus that is open to all South Sudanese, especially in a country recovering from divisive conflict,” said Nicholas Haysom, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, speaking at the ceremony.
“Today’s event should constitute more than a symbolic act, and could be an active contributor to national peace,” he added.
“It is a cornerstone upon which further meaningful steps can now be taken - including a broader security sector transformation process, nation building, and sustainable development,” he further stated.
“This graduation will strengthen the capacity of the Transitional Government to protect its own citizens by curtailing subnational and intercommunal violence, and demonstrate South Sudan’s respect for human rights by enhancing accountability, and also guarantee the territorial integrity of the country.”
UNMISS now expects the Necessary Unified Forces to play a critical role in meeting security and logistical needs, necessary for legitimate and credible elections, as provided for in the peace agreement. “In this way, the NUF could also play an indispensable role in building democracy,” SRSG Haysom said.
The Mission encourages the Transitional Government to recognize that this is not the end of a process but a new beginning. It will be necessary to ensure adequate support to fund, equip, deploy, and sustain the forces over time.
UNMISS remains committed to the full implementation of the Peace Agreement including training, technical and logistic support, together with regional partners and the international community.