September 5, 2016 (JUBA) – Members of the United Nations Security Council on Monday wrapped up a three-day visit to South Sudan and reiterated its support for the country’s peace process with calls for government to fulfill what agreed upon in a joint communiqué.
- U.S. Ambassador Samanta Power speaks to the press following a closed door meeting with President Kiir, announcing an agreement on the deployement of protection force on 4 September 2016 (UNMISS Photo)
“The fact that we are getting on the UN plane and going home, does not mean that we are going to forget about them,” said the United States Ambassador Samantha Power, who was the co-leader of the council delegation that visited the world’s youngest nation.
“What no one can endure is the legacy of having seen this beautiful newest country of the UN torn apart,” she added.
In July, the young nation was plunged into fresh violence due to clashes between the country’s rival forces led to deaths and injuries, including those of several UN peacekeepers in the country, also undermining the implementation of the peace agreement between the political rivals in 2015, which formally ended their differences.
Power, however, said that some good commitments came out of the trip, with South Sudan’s coalition government announcing its acceptance to the deployment of the regional protection force.
According to a joint communique that was issued on Sunday, the South Sudanese government said it was committed to remove impediments to the ability of UN mission to implement its mandate.
This, government said, would include reviewing procedures related to movement of UNMISS and streamlining bureaucratic processes.
Power said calls for peace must be felt in the hearts of the leaders.
She, however, said these commitments will be measured by the extent to which people of South Sudan feel safer than they are now.
The Senegalese ambassador to the UN, Fode Seck, who also co-led the Council delegation, said it was “a very positive visit, both on the side of the government and on the side of the UN Security Council.”
Seck stressed the need for the citizens to unite for nation-building.
“This country is so blessed by nature and it can become the giant of Africa, feeding Africa, exporting and contributing to the continents development,” said the Senegalese official.
“Let them believe in themselves, let them work with their government, let them forget about the tribal divide,” he added.
While in the South Sudan, the delegation held a series of high-level meetings with President Salva Kiir, members of his government, civil society groups, faith-based organization and senior UN officials.