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UN peace chief meets stakeholders over elections, Warrap-Abyei conflict

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the undersecretary-general for peace operations - COURTESY

The Chief of UN peacekeeping operations is currently in South Sudan to meet South Sudan stakeholders and address key issues surrounding the upcoming elections as well as the conflict between Warrap and Abyei.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix arrived in Juba on Sunday to assess the progress of the peace process and the ongoing preparations for the December 2024 elections.

Lacroix’s visit is also to engage with senior government officials and civil society groups to tackle the Abyei situation and ensure smooth proceedings for the upcoming polls.

He is expected to travel to Upper Nile region, Aweil in Norther Bahr el Ghazal and Abyei where he will assess the aftermath of the recent deadly violence which claimed more than a hundred lives.

Speaking to reporters upon his arrival in Juba, Lacroix acknowledged the challenges faced by South Sudan, stressing the UN’s solidarity with the region.

“Some time for South Sudan, there are challenges. There are also expectations in many fronts, and I think it’s also an expression of solidarity from the UN as a whole.

“It’s clear that the region is facing many challenges. And of course, the hostilities in Sudan are having an impact on South Sudan itself. I think there are other challenges in Abyei.

“I believe that other phenomena such as the impact of climate change is also affecting this country and they have an impact on the situation of the civilian population,” he said.

For his part, the Head of UNMISS Nicholas Haysom, says the visit is an opportunity for Lacroix to gain firsthand insights into one of the UN’s largest and most effective missions.

“This is an opportunity for the under-Secretary General for peacekeeping operations to see one of his bigger and more effective missions for us to introduce him to the challenges we faced, and ow we are we’re doing to overcome those but it’s also he also has an interest in Abyei and the conflict in Warrap between the Twic and the Ngok,” he said.

Hysom stressed the importance of addressing the challenges faced by the mission and highlighted the French diplomats’ interest in resolving conflicts, particularly in Abyei and the Warrap region between the Twic and Ngok communities.



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