Kadugli - People of South Kordofan call for peaceful co-existence and development following a visit of UK Special Envoy and delegation Mr. Chris Trott
along with the Governor of South Kordofan, Dr. Eisa Abbakr visited many locations in and around Kadugli, especially projects supported by UNDP through Community Security and Stabilization Programme (C2SP) last Wednesday.
It is apparent that people of South Kordofan want peace as they are frustrated with the conflict and this echoed across communities. Some of the communities gave a direct message to special envoy to impress upon parties to stop the conflict and concentrate on development.
Special envoy was accompanied with Ms. Marta Ruedas ,Resident Coordinator of UN, Mr. Micheal Aron UK ambassador, Mr. Jean Michel Emile, EU ambassador and Ms Karin Boven ,Ambassador of Netherlands. The delegation also included Mr. Selva Ramachandran, Country Director, UNDP and Mr. Matthew Holling Worth country representative of WFP.
The delegation visited Assama secondary girls’ school,a school community owns and which reaffirms his commitments that girls should be educated. The girls had a lot of difficulty in reaching Kadugli to be educated and enrollment was very low and possible gender based violence on the way. The community wanted to educate their children and requested for a school for girls and as of now more than 300 girls are enrolled in the school. The ministry of education came in support to the school to provide teachers and Concern International build the toilets. Finally the community collected money to build thee compound wall.The community also uses the school as community center during the evening to discuss the community affairs
The delegation visited a community based artificial limbs centre, whose beneficiaries were very frustrated two years back and who were advocating for people to join conflict and compensate for the war. They have mentioned that they after intervention with thiscenter they feel they are part of the community and advocate to stop the conflict and they feel that the war brings disaster and nobody should suffer like them.
They delegation also visited a police station at Morta Community ,the Police Commissioner mentioned that the police centre is a focus of community – police relationships and that police actually encourage communities, especially nomads and framers to resolve the disputes peacefully. Police being guarantee, the community is said to attain the confidence in dealing with men having weapons. Community said that it is their police stations and it helps us and not obstructs them.
The delegation also had an opportunity to visit an exhibition organized by all UN agencies and NGO’s which reflected the testimonies of support to South Kordfoan state.
The Governor of South Kordofan Dr.Eisa Abbakrhas remarked that all parties should work for the peace as his state is clearly wishing for peace and mentioned that SK will be a model for development in Sudan.
Ms. Marta Ruedas, Resident Coordinator of UN mentioned that after seeing the determination of communities and the state government that she is sure that peace and development will follow in the communities of SKwhich has got tremendous potential for development.
UK Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Mr. Christopher John Trott ensured the UK is commitment to drive the peace process forward through dialogue with government and rebel groups. “It is an honour and a responsibility “he claimed.
BritishAmbassador Mr. Michael Arron mentioned that the state of South Kordofan is a key for the stability and development ofSudan, while welcoming the lifting of sanctions has lauded the efforts of US and the government of Sudan urged all the parties to work together.
“This year is a very important year for Sudan with sanctions being lifted and South Kordofan has an important role in bringing stability and development to Sudan, therefore we must work together for the future of Sudan ” said the UK Ambassador to Sudan, H.E Mr. Micheal Aron in clear Arabic.
He has mentioned that UK is supporting peace and development in SK and adjoining states including Blue Nile and that UK will continue to support these states. He said that lifting of sanctions imposes a greater responsibility on Sudan as well as other partners. He also reiterated British envoy’s stand that this area needs peace and British government will impress on all parties including Troika to ensure that peace is restored in the area.
The ambassador of Netherlands said that she recognizes the need for Holland to reengage in this area as it is critical for peace and stability not only in Sudan but also the entire region and she recognizes that a lot of work has been done by Netherlands in the state of South Korodfan before and that it has to be consolidated. She mentioned that Netherlands calls both the parties to sign the peace agreement at the earliest so as to establish peace in this area and lead to development.
“Netherlands will continue to follow and remain active since their early engagement during the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005.” she said
From their side, Mr. Selva Ramachandran, UNDP Country Director highlighted that C2SP programme is doing a great work in rejuvenating rural economy and is clear shift from recovery to development and he was saying that South Kordofan is identified as one of the states in Sudan for climatic convention interventions.
Mr. Matthew, Country Representative also emphasized that work in the state has to shift gradually to development and assured the cooperation of WFP in making that kind of shift.
The European Union Ambassador H.E Jean Michel Emile highlighted the issue of access which is crucial for humanitarian and development activities; he talked about the importance of education programs that provides a solid base for all future development.
The Gen Salih El Tayab, Commissioner General of DDR Commission has assured that DDR Commission is aware of the context and the needs and will do its best to accomplish those needs in consultations with the Walis. He mentioned that his commission gives lead to the communities of Sudan while designing projects under different projects and he of the view that any intervention in Sudan should contribute to prosperity and development of Sudan and should not remain as a relief measure.
The visit allowed interaction with communities and beneficiaries to learn more and have a better understanding of the security situation, peacebuilding efforts and discuss the implementation challenges on the ground.