President Kiir Visits Western Bahr El Ghazal

Western Bahr el Ghazal State Governor Rizik Zackaria Hassan welcoming President Salva Kiir at Wau airport today. [James Dend Dimo]

The graduation which will also be attended by the UN Special Envoy to South Sudan Hilde F. Johnson will be the first of its kind under the DDRRC, a pilot phase program to be completed in South Sudan.

“The pilot phase is a key component of the new South Sudan DDR program and represents an important step in the process of deepening peace and stability in South Sudan,” Hilde F. Johnson said yesterday in a statement adding that “this Graduation ceremony marks the beginning of DDR in independent South Sudan.” 

The “ex-combatants will now begin the process of going back to their States and communities, return to civilian life and participate in building their new country,” she added.

The graduation comes after the to-be graduates have followed an intensive three-month residential vocational training aimed at helping them return to civilian life.

The program includes life-skills training in agriculture, masonry, plumbing, mechanics and construction as well as classes in English literacy and numeracy. Participants were selected from the greater Bahr el Ghazal region with 18 of them being women.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) provided much of the design, development and provision of the vocational training while UNMISS Chinese Engineering Contingent supported the construction of the buildings on site, said the statement.

UNMISS has also assisted local communities with the building of an Administration Office for the Payam, a police station with detention cells, a catering center and a market place in addition to seven shallow wells for potable water as well as agriculture and animal watering.

DDR is a government led program with support from key donors, and implementing partners.

President Kiir is expected to address state SPLM party officials at state council of ministers after his return from Mapel town this evening.

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