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The UN Provides Logistical Support for Elections, Security in Sudan

A handout picture from UNMIS shows internally displaced persons (IDP) waiting for the distribution of aid during a visit by UN humanitarian chief John Holmes in the town of Akobo in southern Sudan, 8 May 2009

A top official of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) says the world body is supporting the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), an effort supported by the government in Khartoum and its former adversaries, the southern-based Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.

“There has been a commitment by both parties to the implementation of the CPA and they have been [marking] the milestones for the implementation – one is the polls, and the UN Mission supports the Sudanese national elections commission with limited logistical support,” said UNMIS spokesman Ashraf Eissa.

Part of the UN’s mission is to provide security. UNMIS consists of over 17,000 military personnel and over 3,000 civilian police personnel.

“The UN police forces,” said Eissa, “have been training the police authorities in north and south Sudan on election security, and securing election ballots and stations.”

“We have had our civil access teams deployed to tense areas talking to tribal chiefs and resolving issue of contention in hot spots. And the UN has been arranging patrols in areas with tribal violence in southern Sudan.. They have been successful in diffusing tensions and stabilizing regions where tension is possible.”

In 2006 the United Nations-Habitat, which works on human settlements, opened a new office in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, to help resettle over two million internally displaced persons and refugees.