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Gressly highlights UNMIS achievements

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5 July 2011 - With three days left before the UNMIS mandate ends, Southern Sudan Regional Coordinator David Gressly held a final press conference in the regional capital Juba, where he highlighted achievements of the mission and its partners.

“(Radio Miraya) stands out as one of the mission’s success stories,” Mr. Gressly said. “It ranks today as the go-to source for fair and balanced news coverage of development in the region.”

UN Radio Miraya FM, which began broadcasting in June 2006, is the most popular radio station in Southern Sudan.

Mr. Gressly also highlighted the role UN Police had played in training tens of thousands of Southern Sudan Police Services officers. “At present 460 of our UN Police advisers continue to offer training in all of the 10 southern states.”

UNMIS was established in 2005 to oversee implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended decades of war in Sudan between the north and south.

“One of our early achievements was the support our military colleagues at UNMIS gave to the Ceasefire Joint Military Committee (CJMC),” Mr. Gressly said.

The CJMC oversaw disengagement of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and the northern Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). The Committee also monitored the removal of SAF from Southern Sudan, which was completed by early 2008.

The regional coordinator then highlighted the role the UN, regional government and other partners had played in the anti-mine campaign. “Over 18,000 kilometers of cleared roads have been opened up across Southern Sudan to facilitate the revival of commerce and other sectors of regional economy.”

As part of its mandate, the mission provided support to Sudan during the April 2010 national elections and January 2011 self-determination referendum in the south.

Mr. Gressly thanked the UNMIS Electoral Assistance Division and UN Integrated Referendum Electoral Division for their technical advice and logistical support to the National Elections Commission and Southern Sudan Referendum Commission.

South Sudanese voted overwhelmingly for separation in the 9 January referendum and will be gaining independence on 9 July.

“The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be arriving in Juba for the celebrations on 8 July,” the Regional Coordinator said. Mr. Ban will meet with President Salva Kiir Mayardit at the Presidential Guest House in Juba on the same day.

Mr. Ban will be accompanied by UN General Assembly President Joseph Deiss and Head of Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy as well as Hilde Johnson, designated Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the proposed UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.