SOUTH SUDAN / WESTERN NILE BASE

08-Jul-2019 00:02:11
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) officially opened its first base on the Western side of the Nile aimed at supporting peacebuilding effort and in hopes to “attract humanitarians into the area.” UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / WESTERN NILE BASE
TRT: 2:11
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 08 JULY 2019, KODOK, SOUTH SUDAN
SHOTLIST
08 JULY 2019, KODOK, SOUTH SUDAN

1. Wide shot, Delegation leaving helicopter and walking to base
2. Med shot, Malakal Head of Field Office and Shearer meeting Fashoda State Governor
3. Med shot, Fashoda State Governor and Shearer cutting ribbon to open new base
4. SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General & Head of UNMISS, United Nations:
“Very important for us to be here strategically. One, it’s on the western side of the Nile so it’s difficult to get to if we don’t have a base actually here. Secondly, what we are hoping to do is that it will attract humanitarians into the area. They will be able to provide services for the large number of people that are starting to come back. Many many people fled two years ago, they are trickling back. They will come back more frequently if they have the ability to get services; education, health services, that sort of thing. That’s what we are trying to do.”
5. Wide shot, INBATT Equipment parked
6. Med shot, UN Helicopter landing in the back of parked equipment
7. Wide shot, UN Helicopters parked outside UNMISS new base
8. Wide shot, Delegation touring base
9. Med shot, SRSG standing speaking with INBATT Commander
10. SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General & Head of UNMISS, United Nations:
“It’s very difficult to get a base built here. During the rainy season it becomes almost impossible to move. Obviously getting across the river, getting materials brought in had to be all done by air. And once it was done, the Indian workers and the company there working alongside the British soldiers did a fantastic job of setting it up; improved the bridge so that the local population has ability to move up and down the area as well. I just think they have done a great job. They’ve done an excellent job for the UN and also for the local community.”
11. Med shot, SRSG shaking hands with local Police Commander
12. Wide shot, Delegation inspecting new bride
STORYLINE
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) officially opened its first base on the Western side of the Nile aimed at supporting peacebuilding effort and in hopes to “attract humanitarians into the area.”

Heavy downpours during the rainy season in Kodok create unpleasant, muddy conditions for residents and damage roads, causing logistical nightmares for farmers and tradespeople trying to access the area.

But the rain is also essential to farming in the area and feeds Nile River which provides a valuable alternative transport route for commuters and traders.

During the six years of civil war, Kodok was largely abandoned as thousands of residents fled violence in the area. But, in the wake of a new peace agreement, they are beginning to return.

SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General & Head of UNMISS, United Nations:
“Very important for us to be here strategically. One, it’s on the western side of the Nile so it’s difficult to get to if we don’t have a base actually here. Secondly, what we are hoping to do is that it will attract humanitarians into the area. They will be able to provide services for the large number of people that are starting to come back. Many many people fled two years ago, they are trickling back. They will come back more frequently if they have the ability to get services; education, health services, that sort of thing. That’s what we are trying to do.”

To help create a safe environment for displaced families coming home, UNMISS deployed peacekeepers to the area last year. It has now officially opened a new base – the first to be located on the western side of the Nile. Approximately 85 peacekeepers have been deployed and civilian staff will arrive in the coming weeks. The aim is to help deter violence, support peace-building efforts, and provide a secure environment so humanitarian workers can safely return to the area to provide much-needed services.

UNMISS said the process of establishing the base was a huge challenge given its remote location, with poor roads and infrastructure. Almost 140 sorties had to be undertaken to fly in equipment and personnel. United Kingdom peacekeeping engineers worked with their Indian colleagues to come up with an innovative solution to fix the severely damaged bridge to ensure access between the base and the town.
UNMISS said the new base and improved roads were already paying dividends. Hundreds of families are returning to the area and barges ferrying food and other goods are now regularly travelling along the Nile and stopping off at Kodok.

SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General & Head of UNMISS, United Nations:
“It’s very difficult to get a base built here. During the rainy season it becomes almost impossible to move. Obviously getting across the river, getting materials brought in had to be all done by air. And once it was done, the Indian workers and the company there working alongside the British soldiers did a fantastic job of setting it up; improved the bridge so that the local population has ability to move up and down the area as well. I just think they have done a great job. They’ve done an excellent job for the UN and also for the local community.”

In addition to their official duties, the peacekeepers are also helping the community develop the skills to rebuild their lives, including training veterinary health workers to treat livestock and providing vocational training to help young people secure jobs so they can support themselves.
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