The United Nations Mission in South Sudan has announced it is seeking to recruit a supplier of coffins to help transport the remains of its staff who may die in the country.
A request for an expression of interest by the UN agency says that 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.
It also encouraged local contractors in South Sudan to express interest in the business but warned that the coffins would 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 United Nations Mission in South Sudan 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. The latest such attack occurred in Jonglei state by suspected Murle fighters. Late last year, armed fighters also shot down a UN helicopter still in Jonglei State.
By last year, at least nine of the UN personnel including four troops had been killed in South Sudan.