Thursday February 28 2013

UN seeks coffin suppliers for South Sudan

By Agencies

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan has announced that it is seeking to recruit a supplier of coffins to help transport remains of its staff who may die in the country.

A request for an expression of interest by the UN says the supplier would be recruited on a long-term basis to provide wooden coffins whenever required. It specified that the coffins should meet international standards for transportation of human remains by air and occupational safety.

Encouraging local contractors to express interest in the business, the advert also said the coffins should bear no religious markings or symbol. The specifications are that the coffin must be brown in colour, the inner box and cover padded with high density foam, and the padding covered in white lining among other requirements.

The UN agency also wants the potential suppliers to prove their experience on coffin supply as well as list major clients supplied before.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan was set up on July 8 2011, a day before the country gained its independence from Sudan. It is headed by Hilde Johnson, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.

The agency, established by a resolution of the United Nations Security Council, has over 16,000 personnel comprising the military and civilians who are all deployed in the barely three year old country.

The Mission is tasked with providing protection, building legitimate authority and creating an environment for development in the young country.

South Sudan has continued to face much civil strife with attacks targeted at civilian population.

By last year, at least nine of the UN personnel including four troops had been killed in South Sudan.