Armed forces in Lakes promise better coordination with and free movement for UN peacekeepers
PETER RING ARIIK
Senior officers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the National Security Service have vowed to strengthen information-sharing and early warning systems and grant UN peacekeepers unhindered movement throughout the Greater Lakes region.
“We are committed to work with UNMISS and to jointly protect lives and properties of our civilians,” SPLA Colonel Simon Makur Meen stated during a recent one-day workshop organized by the peacekeeping mission’s Human Rights Division.
Addressing the 38 participants, the Head of the UNMISS Field Office in Rumbek, Mr. Kwame Dwamena Aboagye emphasized the importance of such cooperation.
“We (UNMISS) are here to work with you. We are not your enemies, we are your friends, and this is the beginning of our cooperation to protect civilians, promote respect for human rights and building durable peace in South Sudan,” he said.
As part of the improved coordination and collaboration, security forces will identify focal points to facilitate the free movement of UN peacekeepers. More effective mechanisms for information-sharing and early warnings are also part of the plan, as are the human rights campaigns to be spearheaded by the SPLA.