UNMISS conducts sensitization campaign for reconciliation and unity in western counties of Equateur


Promoting reconciliation, unity and peaceful coexistence of different communities was the main objective when the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, together with its partners, launched an awareness campaign in the three western counties of the ‘Ecuador, namely Nzara, Ibba and Maridi.

While advocating for dialogue and unity, the peacekeepers also took the time to listen to the concerns of people living in the areas visited.

In Nzara County, the day-long event brought together both those who traditionally live here and the many people who have been displaced and arrived here from Tambura plagued by conflict and violence.

“We stay with them [the host communities] in peace, we were not discriminated against,” said Catherine John, one of the displaced and traumatized people who came to Nzara from Tambura.

In Ibba County, residents’ main concern is the lack of meaningful service provision and activities, especially for unemployed young people, despite the relative peace in the area.

“We, the local youth, are here for peace and we collaborate with the security organs, but we have nothing to do. We need activities like job training to keep young people busy and away from trouble,” Soro youth leader John Paulino said when addressing participants at a peace rally in Ibba market.

In Maridi, the advice received by visiting peacekeepers was quite simple: focus on the Landili part of the county and reach out to it.

“Communities in Maridi County live in peace, but we are worried about the young people of Landili. Many of them have gone to the bush, perhaps to join armed groups, and we urge the peacekeeping mission to be present there and to dialogue with the population,” said the representative of the youth Malis Charles.

According to Civil Affairs Officer Emmanuel Dukundane, serving with the Mission, the massive displacement caused by violence in parts of Western Equatoria State means that the campaign for reconciliation and unity is becoming particularly important in the state.

“Displaced people face many challenges as they share already scarce resources with host communities. This situation could create tensions and frustrations,” he said.

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

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