On Wednesday 27 July, students from Global Perspectives and Legal Studies gathered to hear from Primrose Oteng, Political Affairs Officer for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Some of you may recall hearing speak at Speech Day in 2015.
Having been recently evacuated from Juba (South Sudan) due to a recent outbreak of violence, Primrose spoke to us from her hotel room in Seoul, South Korea. She talked about her career in the UN covering roles based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and New York. She provided details about her current role working towards peace and prosperity in South Sudan following their independence from Sudan which they gained in 2011.
Primrose provided an overview of the significant challenges facing South Sudan as they establish a government, rebuild damaged infrastructure and work towards general elections. She also celebrated successes that have been achieved over the duration of the UN Mission. These include provision of emergency shelter and food, establishing schools and health clinics as well as making it possible for South Sudanese people to return to the country safely. A major UN initiative has been to disarm and re-train former soldiers, including child soldiers.
Students had the opportunity to ask Primrose some questions which she commented 'kept her on her toes'. They asked about the role of UN peacekeeping missions, the structure of the UN Security Council and the challenges of negotiating peace agreements between warring factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.
Download the powerpoint presentation here (PPT 19.4MB)