United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

As South Sudan marks two years of the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recently held a workshop for some 80 new members of parliament from Eastern Equatoria’s State Transitional Legislative Assembly.

The main aim of the day-long sensitization session: To enhance their awareness of the UN Peacekeeping mission’s mandate, its role as a partner for building a durable peace across the world’s newest nation, as well as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA)

 “Our hope is to reinforce the partnership and engagements we have established with state authorities,” said Caroline Waudo, Head of the UNMISS Field Office in Eastern Equatoria. “We are, therefore, showcasing the work our peacekeepers do every day to help keep communities across the state so that all of you have a better understanding of our operations.”

While the UNMISS mandate flows from the UN Security Council, the SOFA establishes the framework under which peacekeepers operate within South Sudan and how domestic laws apply toward its operations.

During the sessions, parliamentarians also received in-depth information on gender issues as well as the mission’s Quick Impact Projects programme, which are small-scale, low-cost projects funded by UNMISS to address urgent public needs.

Visor Likale, a member of parliament from Lafon county found the workshop to be illuminating.

“Participating in this session has been very useful because now I have a clear idea of how partnering with UNMISS can benefit my constituents. Most importantly, I am aware that we can work with peacekeepers to build trust and foster reconciliation among our communities,” he stated.

For his part, the speaker of the Eastern Equatoria State Legislative Assembly, Severino Maira Janus, said that such capacity-building initiatives for parliamentarians go a long way in accelerating peace efforts as well as ushering in much-needed development.

“These training opportunities are vital for us, especially for new parliamentarians, as it gives us a very clear picture of the situation on the ground, our allies at UNMISS and helps us provide workable solutions when there are issues in our constituencies,” stated Speaker Janus.

UNMISS regularly conducts such workshops across South Sudan.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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