Press release by JMM/JMC

December 11th, 2002

Arrival of the new Chief of Operations Officer (COO) of the Joint Monitoring Mission (JMM) and Vice-Chairman of the Joint Military Commission (JMC), Lt Col Dennis Gyllensporre, Sweden.

Before arriving in Sudan, Lt Col Dennis Gyllensporre worked in Sweden, at the Ministry of Defense, Department of International and Security Affairs. His home regiment is in the northern part of the country, just south of the Arctic Circle. A year ago, in December 2001, he was commanding a battalion in a very different environment, with minus 40 degrees Celsius and 150 cm snow.

However, he has been focusing on international peace operations for quite some time. When at the Armed Forces Headquarters he was involved in the policy issues for Swedish contributions to international peace operations. He also spent a year as a student at U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. In the Balkans he had the opportunity to gain first hand experience from the NATO-led mission.

He now has been in Sudan for one month. 'This is the first time I am in Africa and in Sudan, I wish to learn about the various cultures and traditions', he said. The people in the Nuba Mountains are very positive and open-minded so it helps greatly for our work. My impression sofar is that the people in the Nuba Mountains want a long-term peace settlement', he added.

He concluded saying: 'It is very inspiring to take part in this positiv development; and I hope that a 3rd mandate could be approved, so answering the call of the civil society; it would be a just reward to them for making the cease-fire agreement a successful working entity.'

The Joint Monitoring Mission (JMM) and the Joint Military Commission (JMC) is the international organization supervising the implementation of the 'Nuba Mountains Cease-fire agreement' CFA, which was signed in Burgenstock, in Switzerland, on January 19th, 2002, between the Government of Sudan (GOS) and the Sudan's People Liberation Movement/Nuba (SPLM/Nuba). The CFA then was prolonged by the Parties till January 19th 2003.

The 'Nuba Mountains Cease-fire agreement' (CFA) has been in effect for about eleven months (without any hostilities).

JMM/JMC is composed of internationals and of representatives of the GOS and of the SPLM/Nuba working in integrated teams. The approach of the JMM/JMC mission has been as an impartial and neutral facilitator. This has proved to be a determinant factor in the holding of the Cease-Fire.

Latest information: JMM/JMC will increase their flight operations in the Nuba Mountains. JMC will charter its own An28 to conduct more frequently movements in the Nuba Mountains.

Also JMM/JMC will increase their engineering capacity by purchasing a front end loader for road and airfield construction/upgrading, in order to secure their own operations in their AoR. Recently, JMM/JMC opened a by-pass route between Hamra and Umm Sirdiba; the route only is open for light vehicles.