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UNMISS departure chief sends message of peace to the people of South Sudan

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On the eve of his departure after more than four years as the main UN envoy to South Sudan, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN peacekeeping mission thanked the people of Sudan of the South for his support and wished him good luck.

“I have so much admiration for the South Sudanese with whom I have greatly enjoyed working. They are tough, tough and remarkably patient. I am inspired by their seemingly endless hope as they battle enormous obstacles to achieve the much brighter future they deserve, ”said David Shearer. “I will miss this young country and wish it well from the bottom of my heart.”

“I urge the people and leaders of South Sudan to remain united and motivated to move the peace process forward to fully implement the revitalized agreement and hold elections so that communities across the country can finally enjoy real peace and prosperity, ”he said.

“I have been extremely privileged to support South Sudan as it makes the difficult transition from war to restoration and peace. As my four years of service come to an end, I am proud of the progress that has been made, including the ceasefire, the peace accord, the formation of a transitional government and the installation of leaders. local in the states. “

“I am also happy and encouraged to see that most of the people who fled in fear to United Nations protection of civilians sites have returned to their homes or are living in newly transformed IDP camps under the responsibility of the South Sudanese government. .

David Shearer said that while significant progress has been made, the peace process remains fragile and much remains to be done, including accelerating the pace of constitution-making, transitional justice and justice. economic reform. He said courageous decisions must be taken to unify the armed forces of all parties.

The SRSG paid tribute to the United Nations agencies that have supported South Sudan for many years and the nearly 20,000 United Nations peacekeepers who help reduce violence and bring diverse communities together to reconcile and build peace.

UNMISS is a stabilizing force that goes far beyond our physical presence. Our independent surveys have always shown that we are welcomed by nearly 80% of South Sudanese, ”he said. “We are fully committed to ensuring lasting peace by working closely with all political parties alongside regional and international partners.”

“As I said when I arrived in South Sudan, our success will be measured by the reduction in our presence. This started. In the coming year, the number of our peacekeepers in the military and police will decrease by approximately 7%. “

UNMISS is also refocusing its efforts to ensure that it is responsive to the evolving political and security situation.

“We are redeploying staff and resources to build the capacity of important local institutions, including courts, the judiciary and the national police, and prioritize technical support for security sector reform as well as to the electoral process. Protection is best ensured by a just and effective rule of law. “

David Shearer especially thanked aid workers for their life-saving assistance to millions of people in need.

“Humanitarians work in remote, difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions to provide much needed support to vulnerable communities across South Sudan. I thank them for their courage in risking their own health and well-being to help others.

“As I leave this country, my thoughts and best wishes go out to the people of the new nation of the world that we are here to serve and support on their path to lasting peace.

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