Jonglei Governor launches campaign to ‘disarm minds’
25 March 2013 – Bor The Governor of Jonglei state, Honourable General Kuol Manyang Juuk launched a ‘Community Security Caravan’ on Thursday, 22 March, which will use a multi-faceted community sensitisation approach that incorporates educational messaging and innovative drama to inform civilians about the dangers of acquiring and using small arms.
The Community Security Caravan, which stood in front of the Governors tent with a banner with the words “Bye Bye Guns – I Don’t Need You Anymore”, is a joint initiative by the South Sudan Bureau for Community Security & Small Arms Control (CSSAC Bureau) and UNDP’s Community Security and Arms Control (CSAC) project with financial support from the European Union, the Government of Japan and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.
Over the next year, the Caravan will go through the ten states of South Sudan with messages that have been carefully crafted to “disarm the minds” of civilians in South Sudan. The initiative seeks to complement a series of interactive radio programmes that earlier sought to dissuade civilians from acquiring arms as well as encourage those who already owned arms to peacefully surrender them to the police.
Governor Koul Manyang Juuk also acknowledged the gravity of the security situation in his state, and thanked the CSSAC Bureau and UNDP’s CSAC Project for choosing Bor to launch the Community Security Caravan. Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk explained the purpose of the Caravan, stating: “We fought with guns for 22 years to win our freedom. We now have the army and police to deal with our security concerns. Why should we fight against each other? It’s now time to fight against poverty using our minds – not guns.” The Honourable Governor appealed to all citizens in South Sudan to abandon inter-communal violence, hand over their guns to police and embrace peaceful methods of resolving disputes and conflicts. The Governor’s appeal provided appropriate echo to the words “Let’s Hold Hands – Not Guns” printed on the back of T-Shirts worn by the Jonglei Youth Mama band.
According to the Senior Inspector of the CSSAC Bureau in Jonglei state, Mr. Aguti Adut Aguti, since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005, a total of 8,043 people have been killed by small arms and light weapons during political rebellions, cattle raiding, and child abductions in Jonglei state alone. Mr. Aguti urged citizens to give up guns, stating “Light weapons destroy us in so many ways. Let’s give them up and build a bright future for our children.”
Mr. Balázs Horváth, UNDP Country Director explained the objectives of the Community Security Caravan: “By the end of the Caravan’s tour, we hope the people of South Sudan, and particularly the youth, will begin to question the utility of violence and consider alternative means of dispute and conflict resolution.” Mr. Horváth, however, warned that further efforts must be launched and sustained to challenge attitudes, mind-sets, behaviours, and practices in order to promote peace and security and discourage the use of firearms.
The overall goal of the CSAC project is to provide technical assistance to enhance the capacity of the Government of South Sudan to discharge its duty to protect the rights and lives of South Sudan citizens during the process of state formation. CSAC’s support to the Government of South Sudan in other areas like arms control, support to local governments and rule of law institutions, and general post-war recovery jointly aim to help the Government extend state authority across the country – a move that helps improve the overall security environment and thus contributes to the consolidation of peace in South Sudan.
UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 177 countries and territories, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.
Charles O. Okwir,
Communications & Reports Officer – CSAC Project,
United Nations Development Programme, South Sudan
Cellphone: 0954 396 338