UN News Service (New York)
June 20, 2005
The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) gathered momentum today, taking over operations from the multi-national force monitoring a cease-fire agreement between the Sudanese Government and rebels in the Nuba Mountains region.
In a ceremony in Tillo, Sudan's Joint Military Commission (JMC) officially handed over the duties it has been undertaking for the past three years to the UN Mission, in accordance with a comprehensive peace agreement reached in January between the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), which ended Africa's longest civil war.
UNMIS will eventually deploy some 10,000 UN Security Council-mandated troops and 700 civilian police to monitor the peace agreement, maintain stability in southern Sudan and ensure the safe return home of millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs).
In his speech during the hand-over ceremony, UNMIS Chief Jan Pronk commended the JMC for their professionalism and their outstanding performance. He praised JMC for the full cooperation it extended to UN mission. Mr. Pronk pledged that UNMIS will do its utmost to live up to the legacy that JMC will be leaving behind and to build on it. "That's what the people in Nuba Mountains expect and that's what we promise to deliver" he said.