23 June 2011 – To discuss and obtain views about its draft public information (PI) strategy, the Southern Sudan Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Commission and UNDDR held a one-day workshop today in Malakal, Upper Nile State.
The participatory workshop was attended by 16 representatives who mapped out a DDR information strategy in post-independent South Sudan.
In opening remarks, Upper Nile State SSDDRC Coordinator David Jal outlined the facilitators' task.
"The facilitators have come purposely to help in orientation on public information (PI)," Mr. Jal said. "You are well aware about the importance of PI even in DDR. Without PI our ideas and what is meant by DDR would mean nothing."
The state coordinator added that PI was instrumental in creating awareness among ex-combatants, the military, government institutions and civil society.
"The ex-combatants themselves are not aware of what is waiting for them in the process," said Mr. Jal. "This is where PI comes in to manage the expectations of the beneficiaries of the programme."
Johanna Laurila, public information advisor for SSDDRC-Juba, said the session was an opportunity for those at state level to give their ideas and views of the draft public information strategy.
"We are making this presentation today so that we hear your views or opinions, because you are the eyes and ears in the field at the state level," Ms. Laurila said. "Whatever we get could be incorporated into the strategy."