21 April 2015 - UNMISS will continue to engage with the Unity State government to implement its mandate, the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (DSRSG) in South Sudan (Political) Moustapha Soumaré said in the state capital Bentiu today.
Mr. Soumaré was on a one-day visit to the state, where he toured Bentiu and Rubkona towns, and also met with the Deputy State Governor, Col. Mabek Lang de Mading.
Noting that there are good opportunities for collaboration with the state government, Mr. Soumaré emphasized that it is also important for the authorities to understand that implementing the UNMISS mandate is a priority for the mission.
“I want you to understand that the way the mandate is cast, we need to talk to both sides (of the conflict) and it has to be open and transparent,” he said. “A dialogue has to be established so we can communicate as partners.”
Mr. Soumaré stressed that the UN was not hiding anything and there was a need to have more open and frank discussions “so that we can actually see things on which we can agree and things we don’t agree that we can work on”.
“I know you are very committed to doing everything possible to restore stability,” he said. “I know you are striving to re-establish basic social services.”
“The message I am getting is three words - peace, peace and peace,” added the DSRSG, who also visited the existing Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites at the UNMISS base, where he met with community leaders and women’s representatives.
He also toured the new extensions to the PoC sites, which are currently under construction at the mission’s base to better protect the people from flooding during the rainy season and ease overcrowding.
Mr. Soumaré reiterated that the PoC sites are temporary and said it will be vital to initiate conflict mitigation and reconciliation processes within the sites.
Senior Mission officials briefed Mr. Soumaré on the security and humanitarian situation in the state.