Government launches campaign for a gun-free culture

13 Nov 2013

image The Acting Head of South Sudan Bureau for Community Security and Small Arms Control, Dr Riak Gok Majok, (3rd right) addresses drama actors of the ‘Community Security Caravan’ before flagging them off on their ‘Journey of Peace’. Photo by: © Charles Okwir/UNDP.

13 November 2013 – Juba:  The Acting Head of the South Sudan Bureau for Community Security and Small Arms Control (CSSAC Bureau), Dr Riak Gok Majok, yesterday flagged off a ‘Community Security Caravan’ (the Caravan) which will use a multi-faceted public information and community sensitisation approach that incorporates behavioural change messages and innovative drama to sensitise civilians about the dangers of misusing small arms and light weapons.

The Caravan is a joint initiative by the CSSAC Bureau and UNDP’s Community Security and Arms Control (CSAC) project with financial support from the European Union, the Government of Japan, and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.  Over the next three months, the drama actors of the Caravan will stage 20 lively shows in the first three states, beginning with Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, and Lakes state.  The Caravan will target remote conflict-prone areas to deliver carefully crafted messages designed to promote a gun-free culture in South Sudan.

The Caravan initiative, which was first launched on 22 March, 2013, seeks to complement a series of interactive radio programmes that earlier sought to dissuade civilians from acquiring arms as well as encourage those who already owned arms to surrender them peacefully to the police.  Speaking at the official flag-off event held at ‘Zahara Play Ground’ in Juba on Wednesday, 13 November 2013, the acting Head of the CSSAC Bureau, Dr Riak Gok Majok said, “disarming the minds of communities is the responsibility of all of us – government, development partners, traditional authorities, religious leaders, and civil society organisations.”

The Head of the CSSAC Bureau then urged well-wishers and development partners to “invest heavily” in this community sensitisation programme because, he said, “it is a sure way for forging a better future for this country and its people.”  Some of the development partners present at the flag-off event whom he appealed to included representatives from the diplomatic missions of the European Union, Japan, Canada, the United States, The Netherlands, as well representatives from international NGOs like Saferworld.


UNDP Deputy Director (Operations), Mr Mulugeta Abebe said as a development agency, “UNDP supports the government’s current emphasis on attaining community peace and security.”  He urged the government “to do even more so that the citizens of this country can peacefully engage in agriculture, education, and trade to lift themselves out of poverty.” 

    

For further information, please contact:

Charles O. Okwir, Communications & Reports Officer – CSAC Project, UNDP, South Sudan; Email: charles.okwir@undp.org Cell: 0954 396 338

 

Murtaza Shibli, Head of Communications, a.i, UNDP South Sudan; murtaza.shibli@undp.org; Cell: (+211) 956 213 014

Tabani Joseph, Communications Analyst, UNDP South Sudan; Joseph.tabani@undp.org; Cell: (+211) 955 314 795