SOUTH SUDAN / CANAL PIGI COUNTY VISIT

16-Aug-2022 00:08:39
United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) cleared 25 anti-personnel mines from Pigi County in South Sudan, making the area safe to inhabit. UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / CANAL PIGI COUNTY VISIT
TRT: 08:39
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / DINKA / NATS

DATELINE: 11 AUGUST 2022, CANAL, PIGI COUNTY, SOUTH SUDAN
SHOTLIST
1. Various shots, UN delegation arriving by plane
2. Various shots, UN delegation’s departure by boats, River Nile
3. Various shots, UN delegation walking
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Sara Beysolow Nyati, Humanitarian Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“We’re responsible for about 75 percent of mine action, demining activities in South Sudan. This is just one example of it. This community here only had 1,500 people. Because of the work we have done in mine action, you now have over 10,000 people. This is huge. You can hear children laughing. People have complaints about the flooding, agriculture, and food, and so forth, but they wouldn’t have those complaints if they weren’t here. But the first step is the fact that they are here. They are here walking on safe ground. Every step that they take is safe, and the grounds they walk on is safe.”
5. Various shots, O’Grady on boat showing mine cleared residential area
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Fran O’Grady, Chief of Mine Action in South Sudan, United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS):
“The ground that you’re standing on now, you can’t really demine that manually—it’s rock hard. We needed a machine to do that. The nearest machine is a long boat ride away; so we had to get that machine, which disturbs the ground and gets rid of the mines, to fix it, we had to find a barge, we had to get a team, we had to get the barge up the river in time before the rain starts, so it was a risk, it was a gamble. And I’m really happy to say that it worked out. And what we’ve done now is we’ve cleared the whole area behind us of anti-personnel mines. So, it’s really heartening to come back now, speak to some of those people we spoke to before, find out what difference it makes to their lives, also to look at the remaining challenges and advocate for their needs.”
7. Various shots, homes in Canal, mine action workers filling walk-way dykes, meeting with local authorities
8. SOUNDBITE (Dinka) Stephen Choul Kon, Community Leader:
“We need medicines to ward off mosquitoes and snakes. Many people have been bitten by snakes here, and we have no way to treat them. They die without treatment.”
9. Various shots, meeting with a woman representative
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Sara Beysolow Nyati, Humanitarian Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“No matter what title and position I hold, I can never divorce the fact that I am an African woman. And that matters to me. And listening to them, listening to the issues they raised, I felt it. I felt it in my heart. The fact that a woman in 2022 will either must go and find somewhere else to live when she is seven months pregnant or take a 50-50 chance of dying because she won’t have access to safe delivery—that’s painful. In 2022, that’s painful. It’s painful to hear that snakes and people are fighting for the same space, that people are pushed out of their homes at night if snakes have entered because of the flooding; because of the water, snakes are looking for dry ground. So, all I can say to you is that it has impacted me. I’ve listened, I’ve heard, and I’ve felt, and I will go back with the messages today to talk to my colleagues in the humanitarian community and the development community; that we’ll continue to work together around peace, development, and humanitarian to ensure that we can do the best we can do to help not only foster peace but to sustain peace and create the pathway for sustainable development.”
11. Various shots, Sarah cooking
12. SOUNDBITE (Dinka) Sarah Achoul, Women’s Representative:
“From the very beginning, we were looking and fearing the mines because you cannot see what is under the ground. But today, we are free, there are no mines under the ground, and we can dig for whatever purpose. We can build our tukuls where we want. Earlier, we would see mines and report them so they could be marked. We were always afraid that our kids would play with mines.”
13. Various shots, people dancing and applauding
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Sara Beysolow Nyati, Humanitarian Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS):
“I appreciate the people of Canal; I appreciate the people of Pigi county because they themselves have chosen the pathway of trying to secure their peace. They live peaceably between the host communities and the IDPs – that’s the first step. The fact that they can reconcile differences and try to live together; once there is peace, we can try to do more. So, the people of this fine county and the people of Canal town, thank you for trying to ensure peace in your communities.”
15. Wide shot, women dancing
STORYLINE
The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) cleared 25 anti-personnel mines from Pigi County in South Sudan, making the area safe to inhabit.

Last week, Sara Beysolow Nyanti, the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), visited Canal in Pigi County to get a first-hand account of the people living here.

She said, “We’re responsible for about 75 percent of mine action, demining activities in South Sudan. This is just one example of it. This community here only had 1,500 people. Because of the work we have done in mine action, you now have over 10,000 people. This is huge.”

She added that people are now walking on safe ground.

It wasn’t easy for UNMAS to clear the area, given that the rainy season was merely weeks away and the only way to reach Canal with the correct equipment was by boat.

Fran O’Grady, Chief of Mine Action in South Sudan, said, “what we’ve done now is we’ve cleared the whole area behind us of anti-personnel mines. So, it’s really heartening to come back now, speak to some of those people we spoke to before, find out what difference it makes to their lives, also to look at the remaining challenges and advocate for their needs.”

UNMAS is an integral component of UNMISS, mandated under Security Council Resolution 2567 (2021).

It supports the four core objectives: protection of civilians, creating the conditions conducive to the delivery of humanitarian assistance, supporting the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement and the peace process, and monitoring and investigating human rights.
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