By Mach Samuel
The UN Mission in South Sudan has received a new commander, Brigadier General Muhamed Masum of Bangladesh, for its Sector East, based in Bor in Jonglei.
Brigadier General Masum was met by UNMISS contingents from Korea, Ethiopia, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, as well as by a group of internally displaced persons sheltered at the UN protection of civilians site in Bor. He succeeds Brigadier General Karanbir Singh Brar, who completed his assignment earlier this month.
Philip Aguer, governor of Jonglei State, welcomed the new sector commander and pointed out the importance of UNMISS continuing its constructions of more and better roads, with the Bor-Pibor road being the next priority.
“We have been enjoying cooperation with UNMISS in maintaining roads, especially the road between Bor and Juba. We hope they will also try to upgrade the road between Bor and Pibor,” the governor said.
The UNMISS contingent known as the Republic of Korea Horizontal Engineering Company, ROK-HMEC for short, is scheduled to complete the rehabilitation of the important Juba-Bor road by mid-January 2018.
Sector East contingents, like their colleagues in other parts of the country, work with relevant stakeholders to build durable peace and to facilitate the nimble delivery of humanitarian assistance. They also provide robust road and dynamic air patrols, thus protecting civilians and giving them early warnings of potential threats.
These efforts, and the recent signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement at the High-Level Peace Revitalization Forum in Addis Ababa, are providing much-needed hope to the people staying at the UNMISS protection of civilians site in Bor.
“If the peace agreement holds, there will be no fighting in the country. I hope that will mean that many people can leave the site and return home,” says the chairman of the community in the protection site, David Duoth Machar.
The newly arrived Brigadier General Masum shares the optimism expressed by the displaced civilians.
“I want to work with each one of you with mutual understanding and collaboration for the peace for South Sudan. I want to say only one thing; the New Year 2018 will be a year of peace”, he told those participating in his reception.
Brigadier General Masum brings a total of 26 years of national and international military experience to the Sector East of UNMISS. Before his arrival in South Sudan he was the commander of the South East Border Guard Region in Bangladesh.