IOM, Gov't, and German delegation visit northern South Sudan
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized a field visit to Renk Town, El Gerger Payam, and Wunthou border to conduct consultation sessions with community members and local authorities on their perception of peace and security.
The visit was conducted within the framework of Supporting Peace, Security, and Stability in the northern regions through the Strengthening Border Management Capacities and Inclusive Community Engagement project. It drew together a delegation of the Deputy Inspector of General Police, Director of Research and Planning of South Sudan National Police Service, Ambassador-At-Large in charge of Sudan Relations, and Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of South Sudan.
During the visit, the delegation met with women, youth, and community leaders, from Renk Town and El Gerger who expressed their opinions, perception, and concerns over peace and security in their communities like unsafe farming places for women, the need to have safe and secure movement of migrants and citizens who often cross the border for business opportunities, better health services, among others.
The youth expressed that the lack of employment opportunities is among stressors of insecurity in the area, hence, ensuring the inclusion of youths in economic development may create more peaceful neighborhoods.
Community leaders reiterated their commitment to work with law enforcement in ensuring peace and security in the communities.
“The international community is committed to assisting the government of South Sudan in sustaining peace and security. It is important to engage women in the decision-making process concerning the community safety”, said Manuel Müller, the Ambassador of Germany.
Meanwhile, a groundbreaking of new border infrastructure also marked part of the visit. The border infrastructure will include Immigration Entry and Exit points, and a migrant support point will be established in the Wunthou border.
Upon completion, the Wunthou border will promote safe mobility for migrants crossing the border. The facility will be equipped with toilets, water points to encourage hand washing to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the border town, and a computer system that will allow recording of statistical information of cross border movement.
Lt. Gen. James Pui Yak, Deputy Inspector General of Police, said, “Strengthening border management will facilitate economic development of South Sudan.”
He also stressed the importance of community-police relations in keeping the areas safe.
“This is the first border area whereby the Government intends to apply a community policing approach, an approach which is also needed across all border areas in the country”, Lt. Gen Pui added.
Fitriana Nur, IOM South Sudan’s Program Coordinator of Migration Management, said, “The project will establish processes of positive change at institutional, individual, and societal levels, to strengthen peace, security, and protection at the northern borders of South Sudan.”
She added that it will further lay the foundations for access to long-term and sustainable development through strengthening border management, and engaging inclusive community participation, whilst contributing to the COVID-19 response in South Sudan.
The Supporting Peace, Security, and Stability in Northern Regions through Strengthening Border Management Capacities and Inclusive Community Engagement project is funded by Germany Federal Foreign Office.