September 12, 2016 (JUBA) – The United States ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said she is "outraged" over reports that the South Sudanese government harassed activists who met with a UN Security Council delegation during their visit to the world’s youngest nation.
- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power speaks to reporters after a meeting with the South Sudan’s cabinet on 3 September 2016 (UNMISS Photo)
Power, in a statement issued Sunday, said the Security Council delegation observed "chilling" living conditions for civilians trapped in the ongoing conflict between the South Sudanese government and the armed opposition forces.
“The United States condemns any attempts by governments to silence freedom of expression, and we condemn all restrictions on civil society actors who organize peacefully and provide constructive criticism,” stressed the UN envoy.
“The voices of civil society must be elevated, not silenced”, she added.
The Security Council, Power said, is engaging directly with South Sudan government to underscore that intimidation and threats toward the civil society cease immediately.
“South Sudan’s leaders must allow civil society to carry out its work freely, and they should focus on settling this conflict once and for all so that all South Sudanese people can live with security and dignity,” further observed the US envoy.
Sudan Tribune has learned that heads of organizations that met with the Security Council delegation in Juba last week have been asked to report to government.
A delegation from the Security Council visited the South Sudan capital, Juba and held talks with government officials, heads of UN agencies, activists and organization heads.