12 March 2013 - UNMISS was committed to promoting peace and co-existence among all South Sudanese people without favouring any community over another, mission representatives told residents of Jonglei State’s Twic East County today.
Speaking at an outreach event organized by UNMISS in Panyagor payam (district) to increase awareness of the mission’s role, participants had raised concerns about perceived UNMISS biases during inter-communal conflicts in the state.
Mission representatives explained that the peacekeeping mission was neutral. It had been invited to the country by the government to assist in consolidating peace and promoting development.
Some 74 participants, including traditional chiefs, local government officials, youth, women and religious leaders, attended the event. They outlined other security concerns like cattle raids, abduction of women and children and the militia group led by David Yau Yau.
The event’s organizers stressed that the primary responsibility for protection of civilians lay with the South Sudanese government. But they added that UNMISS would intervene directly if the government was not providing security.
The outreach event was the sixth in a series UNMISS has organized over the last eight months to create awareness at the grass-roots level about the mission’s role.