4 October 2010 - Newly elected Upper Nile State Governor Simon Kun Puoch made his first official visit to UNMIS in Malakal today, where he held discussions with civilian, police and military components on various issues, including the referendum.
Accompanied by Malakal County Commissioner Shouki Aboch Ajang, Security Adviser Tut Gatchay and Adviser for Social Services Dr. Charles Yor, Governor Puoch stressed the importance of the 2011 Southern Sudan referendum for people in the state.
"I am happy to know that UNMIS is taking responsibility to assist us so the referendum will be fair and free. I hope Upper Nile State people can vote in a peaceful atmosphere," he said.
The UNMIS UN Integrated Referenda and Electoral Division will provide technical and logistical assistance to the referendum authorities in Sudan.
He also praised the readiness of UNMIS to provide aircraft to transport referendum registration and voting materials, adding that he hoped materials would arrive in each respective county on time.
"We need UNPOL (UN Police) to help us to train the SSPS (Southern Sudan Police Services) because they will work closely with UNMIS for the referendum," he said.
UN Police Sector Commander Borys Yaschuk informed the governor that UNPOL had trained 700 SSPS officers for referendum security and would also be training the remaining 477.
Highlighting security concerns in the riverbank towns of Baliet, Ulang, Nasser, and Fashoda, the governor requested the UN Bangladesh Riverine Unit to assist us with boat patrol in monitoring the security situation
He encouraged UNMIS to renew its efforts to address child rights, especially those on child soldier disarmament. "These children must be taken care of properly. They need to be given food, shelter, and education. Otherwise they will go back to their prior occupation."