On 9 July 2011, South Sudan became the newest country in the world. On the same day, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was established by the United Nations Security Council for an initial period of one year. UNMISS was mandated with consolidating peace and security and helping establish conditions for effective governance and development in the Republic of South Sudan.
The activities I am engaged in at the Child Protection Unit are in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically with SDG 16, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. The unit’s work in Malakal meets one of the major targets specified under this goal, which is to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against, and torture of, children.
"Volunteers are links between communities and peacebuilding stakeholders, so it’s important they continue coming because they bring a lot of motivation," said Olga Zubritskaya-Devyatkina, Chief of the Volunteer Solutions Section.
With a particular focus on the protection of civilians, all my efforts were geared towards communicating with parties to the conflict and identifying ways forward, while simultaneously managing and preventing conflicts.
I met many people – from the opposition, the towns and the villages, government representatives and ‘monyomiji’ (youth) from different tribes – to discuss the peace process and the problems faced by the communities while maintaining peace and working on the development of their respective communities at the same time.