Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the media, and welcome to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan weekly press briefing broadcast live on UN radio Miraya from UNMISS HQs in Juba.
Let me also take this opportunity to greet radio listeners who may have tuned in 101.1 FM, Good morning to you listeners. And also we have via phone hook-up journalists in Torit, Good morning to you also.
The theme of this week’s briefing will very much focus on International Women’s Day, which was commemorated globally yesterday March 8; under the theme of “pledge for parity” and to brief on what is being done at the both the national and community levels in the country, I am joined by two guest speakers.
However, just before we start, allow me take a moment and update you on a visit SRSG Ellen Margrethe Loej paid to Malakal yesterday to assess the situation and to meet with stakeholders on the ground, which included community leaders within the protection site and Malakal town.
During the visit, the SRSG reiterated her message on the UN’s commitment to protect civilians, stating her key objective for the trip was to see the situation on the ground and understand how best to move forward on all fronts, and this includes security, humanitarian assistance and inter-communal dialogue.”
A visit to the POC site was also made where the SRSG met with men and women from the elders, community leaders, and youth representative to listen to their views. During the meeting with representatives of the community, the SRGS urged all responsible parties to refrain from any actions or statements that escalate tensions, and to respect the rules governing UN protection sites – including no weapons inside protection sites.” She further went on to assure community representatives that “UNMISS and partners will continue to engage with local authorities in Malakal to restore calm and resolve differences through dialogue.”
Before leaving for the airport, the SRSG also meet with the IDPs, in Malakal town, who left the POC site in February, as well as paying a courtesy call to the Governor.
See press release: UNMISS SRSG Ellen Margrethe Loej Visits Malakal - https://reliefweb.int/node/1429046
Now moving onto the briefing, it is my pleasure to introduce our guest speakers for the day, to my left we have Ms. Kasumi Nishigaya, UNMISS Chief of Gender Unit/Senior Gender Advisor, and to my right Ms. Izeduwa.derex-briggs, the South Sudan country representative for UN Women. I believe we will start with Ms. Briggs.