Improved security is essential to reinvigorating what has been called the bread basket of South Sudan, the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), David Shearer, has said.
Mr Shearer was making his first field trip to the town of Yambio in the Western Equatoria region of South Sudan, an agricultural region which has typically provided a wide range of food products for the rest of the country.
Production has slowed because farmers are no longer able to plant crops due to ongoing insecurity and displacement.
“Security is the key to getting famers back to their land,” Mr Shearer said after meeting Gbudwe State officials in Yambio. He said that security was also essential on the road network to allow trade and the distribution of agricultural products.
He praised the State authorities for their commitment to boosting agricultural production and moving towards self-sufficiency.
UNMISS hopes the imminent swearing-in of the new Governor of Gbudwe State will be an opportunity to reset and improve relations between local communities and government forces operating there, Mr Shearer said.
The UNMISS head is also encouraging reconciliation efforts by the State authorities, especially the efforts to reintegrate young people into the community who had joined armed groups active in the area.
For media enquiries, please contact
Spokesperson: Daniel Dickinson – firstname.lastname@example.org +211912177770
United Nations Mission in South Sudan – Communications & Public Information Section