Abyei marks 72 years of the UN
The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) marked the 72 years of the United Nations (UN) between 19 and 24 October 2017 by showcasing the UN’s work in Abyei through various events including community cleaning campaign, sports festival, a photo exhibition of UN’s work, and a cultural gathering amongst staff.
On 23 October 2017, the photo exhibition at the Freedom Park in Abyei town showcased how the major activities of UNISFA, as well as the UN agencies, have so far made an impact to the daily lives of community members. Adding to the celebratory event with the community, a friendly football match supported by UNISFA was played by Abyei youth under-18 years old.
“We witnessed the children of Abyei in a friendly football match. This is a manifestation that the UN supports all aspects in community development - from individual’s well-being to community's peace and security,” UNISFA Acting Head of Mission and Force Commander (Ag HoM/FC), Major General Tesfay Gidey Hailemichael, told the community in a message read by UNISFA’s Senior Police Officer Mary Gahonzire.
“Today, let us all recognize the UN’s lifesaving and life-changing work,” General Hailemichael said. The UN supports the Abyei community through UNISFA, International Office of Migration, World Food Programme, Food and Agricultural Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund, and United Nations Mine Action Service.
“Among its many tasks, UNISFA will continue to help the people of Abyei by maintaining security, promoting community-based policing and supporting intercommunal dialogue at the grass roots level, especially during the migration season,” said UNISFA Principal Officer/Chief of Staff, Mr Alexander Rose.
To salute the men and women of the United Nations in Abyei and around the world who in one way or another who have helped saved lives and advanced peace, a military parade was conducted at the UNISFA HQ on 24 October 2017. Currently, around 70 countries are supporting UN’s work in Abyei through UNISFA and UN agencies, funds and programmes. Majority are from Ethiopia, the sole troop contributing country of UNISFA.
Ethiopian troops demonstrated skills with Paratroopers and Ural Borne presentation, as well as Taekwondo exhibition.
Winners of the various sporting events of the UN Day 2017 Sports Festival conducted between 19 and 21 October 2017 also received their respective trophies and medals during the ceremony.
During the event, Ag HoM/FC shared the message of UN Secretary-General António Guterres to staff and guests who included the National Monitors from Sudan and South Sudan. "When we achieve human rights and human dignity for all people, they will build a peaceful, sustainable and just world. On United Nations Day, let us— ‘We the Peoples’ —make this vision a reality."’
Concluding this year’s UN Day 2017 celebratory event was a cultural evening showcasing folkloric songs and dances from different parts of the world. There were presentations from Abyei, East Africa (Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan), Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Latin America (Nicaragua, Colombia, Guatemala, Ecuador). The UN staff in Abyei gathered to emphasize this year’s theme ‘Potential in Diversity.’
In addition, the UNISFA staff were also challenged on how much they know about the UN through a game “The UN Challenge.”
UN Day community event photos - https://www.facebook.com/unisfa/posts/860136290840658
UN Day military parade photos - https://www.facebook.com/unisfa/posts/860158297505124