9 May 2011 - Aiming to improve grassroots level understanding of post-referendum arrangements, good governance and democracy, UNMIS began a two-day workshop for 50 participants today in Rubkona County, Unity State.
"We are grateful to UNMIS for organizing this workshop," said County Executive Director Matek Tor, as he opened the workshop. "They have been very helpful to us and we hope they will continue to do so until we raise our flag of independence."
Also attended by other government officials, political party envoys, local chiefs and representatives from community based organizations, women and youth, the workshop responded to a need to prepare citizens for their nation-building role, come 9 July when Southern Sudan becomes independent.
"We are conducting this workshop not because the participants do not know about good governance or democracy, but because we want to bring all that they know to the international standards," said UNMIS Civil Affairs Officer Kwame Dwamena.
"The aim is to share the ideas we have from around the world for the benefit of the people here in Unity State," he added.
Topics to be covered during the workshop are UNMIS' mandate, referendum and post-referendum arrangements, good governance in a post conflict state, building a democratic state, human rights, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and conflict prevention as well as resolution.
"We want UNMIS to continue to assist us as we approach the final step towards independence of Southern Sudan," said workshop participant Stephen Gatdet, head chief of Nor-lam.
Similar workshops will be conducted in Guit, Leer, Mayedit and Panyijar counties before the end of June.