Goodbye, JMM/JMC!

Tillo, Nuba Mountains

The JMM/JMC is currently handing over its duties, facilities and personnel to the UN mission. By June 21 it will be completed, and the JMM/JMC will bid farewell to the Nuba Mountains, where it has served for more than three years, not only as a ceasefire monitoring mission, but also as a conflict resolution mechanism.

From the outset the JMM/JMC was designed to bridge the gap between the Nuba Mountains Ceasefire Agreement and the UN peace support mission for the whole of Sudan. Now, after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in January, JMM/JMC fully hands over its monitoring tasks to the UN.

Currently the JMM/JMC is training incoming UN observers and introducing them to the area and the people of the Nuba Mountains. The JMM/JMC has always promoted its participatory concept and the high involvement of representatives of both Parties. Now, during the familiarisation period JMM/JMC training officers are demonstrating how the concept is applied on the ground. To assist the incoming UN mission to establish itself quickly the JMM/JMC facilities also are being handed across to the UN. On 21 June JMC moves out and command transfers from JMC Head of Mission to the new UN Sector Commander who will assume responsibility for monitoring the peace in Southern Kordofan.

Brigadier General Jan Erik Wilhelmsen, Head of Mission JMM/JMC, is happy to implement the handover during a calm and relatively stable period: "Thanks to the dedicated work of the representatives of the SPLM/A, the Government of Sudan and the International Community, we have achieved a safe environment and the humanitarian situation has considerably improved in most areas." In the last two years the ceasefire violations have decreased, and an estimated 300 000 returnees have come back to the JMM/JMC's area of responsibility.

For the history of peace support, the JMM/JMC is a very encouraging chapter, and for its Head of Mission it has been the most rewarding experience in 15 years of peacekeeping all over the world. On behalf of the JMM/JMC, Jan Erik Wilhelmsen would like to thank everybody who contributed to the success of the Mission. He especially would like to thank the people of Southern Kordofan for their unfailing confidence and support: "It was a privilege to assist you in the first three years of peace building – may peace and prosperity be with you, the women and men of the Nuba Mountains."