UNMISS conducts civil-military relations forum in Yei
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Tuesday conducted a civil-military relations forum in Yei River County of Central Equatoria State.
The forum, aimed at fostering trust between the military and the civilian population, brought together military commanders, area chiefs, women, and youth representatives.
UNMISS Civil Affairs Officer in Yei, James Mugwo, told the press that the forum addresses challenges within the community.
"It is a special forum to address some of the challenges that we face or that could come at the community level. This was a request that was made after brainstorming," he said. "We have several forums but we have not had a forum to bring together the chiefs and the military commanders at the output level who are committed to looking at the issue of peace, security, and public order at the community level."
John Lual, an SSPDF commander in Yei said the forum allows chiefs to speak freely and discuss matters affecting the community.
"We build a path to a good relationship, and find solutions to the problems," he said.
For his part, Hon. Aggrey Cyrus Kanyikwa, Yei River County Commissioner, said the forum is to build trust between the local population and security personnel.
"What is that bringing fear? The chiefs fear the soldiers and the civilians also fear the soldiers. Do you fear someone that protects you? Soldiers even fear civilians because they don’t know if that is a civilian or an enemy. So today let us start building trust and love among ourselves," he added.
The commissioner further highlighted that a broken relationship among the soldiers, chiefs, and civilians leads to speculations and a communication breakdown.
About 77 chiefs, women and youth representatives, and military officers from Yei town, Lasu, Pakula, Mugwo, Goja, and Tore areas were present.