August 23, 2011 (JUBA) - Civil society activists have urged Susan Page, the recently nominated US ambassador to South Sudan, to demonstrate commitment towards ensuring security sector reform, which they say is essential for upholding the rule of law and protection of civilian lives and property.
- United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Affairs and ambassadorial nominee to South Sudan (AP)
In a statement seen by Sudan Tribune, Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) - a non-profit making entity - said specific focus should be made on conflict mitigation, peace, human rights, rule of law, good governance and democratic transformation.
Many observers are concerned that tribal conflict and several rebellions that broke out in the new state will create regional insecurity and instability.
Clashes that began last Thursday between the Murle and Lou Nuer communities of South Sudan’s Jonglei state killed over 600 people and injured between 750-985 people, according to reports by local officials.
Between 26,000 and 30,000 cattle were also stolen during the attacks and many homes were destroyed according to reports obtained by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
About 250,000 people, local area authorities say, have been displaced by the fighting in Pieri, Motat and Pulchol villages of Uror county, while nearly 200 people are feared to have been abducted.
On Tuesday United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the Government of South Sudan to restore security in Jonglei state.
“The Secretary-General calls on the Government of South Sudan to take all steps to restore security in Jonglei state, to protect civilians affected by this violence and to work with both communities to reduce tensions,” a statement issued by his spokesperson said.
CEPO lauded the US administration for what it said was its “timely and “incredible decision” to nominate Page, less than two months after the Republic of South Sudan become Africa’s newest, and 54th, nation.
“CEPO in advance welcomes you Ambassador Susan Page to Juba, the newest capital city in Africa,” the organisation said.
It adds: “South Sudan is in fragile situation where nation building requires observation of democracy, peace and stability with full dedication to the principles of tolerance and harmonious co-existence.”
CEPO further advocated for the protection of human rights defenders, including an independent media. The organisation appealed to the US government to assist the new nation in its efforts to fight corruption and in the effective implementation of the recently-initiated South Sudan Development Plan (SSDP).
The much-hyped 2011-2013 SSDP was developed by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic development, as a transitional medium term strategy for security, development, economic growth, and poverty reduction.