October 5, 2016 (JUBA) – The United States security advisor, ambassador, Susan Rice has expressed grave concern about the prevailing humanitarian conditions and continued fighting in many parts of war-torn South Sudan.
- US national security advisor Susan Rice (Photo: Craig Ruttle/AP)
Rice, who met South Sudan’s first vice president, Taban Deng on Tuesday, affirmed her administration’s strong commitment to the people of South Sudan.
The U.S. official deplored South Sudan government’s role in obstructing the United Nations Mission in South Sudan’s operations and stressed the need for a rapid deployment of the regional protection force.
A statement from the U.S. embassy in Juba said Rice briefed Deng on how Washington was deeply concerned about the alleged participation of government forces in attacks against humanitarian workers at the Terrain Compound in Juba on 11 July, stressing that the perpetrators of the attack must be identified and held accountable and that an investigation with international support is urgently needed.
“Ambassador Rice underscored the need for the South Sudanese Government to engage opposition groups in dialogue and ensure that it governs inclusively, with strong participation by women and without domination by a single ethnic group or political party,” it adds.
Meanwhile, a section of the armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) claimed Deng was shunned by South Sudanese communities during his recent visit to Washington.
Deng had reportedly attempted to meet with South Sudanese communities, predominantly the Nuer, to solicit for political support.
Reath Muoch Tang, SPLM-IO’s representative in the U.S., claimed Gai was only relying on his team from South Sudan and embassy staff which he turned into an audience for his boycotted meetings.
“The purpose of the huge government delegations headed by Taban Deng Gai, is to fake an audience in North America,” he posted on Facebook.
“As Taban Deng Gai has been publicly disowned and denounced by all the South Sudanese communities, in North America, Europe, Australia, Canada and Africa, he Taban, now [relies] only on his huge delegations which composed of more than 50 personnel to fake meetings, in New Jersey and Washington D.C.,” he added.
South Sudanese officials, including the spokesperson for the presidency and its representatives in the U.S, have dismissed the armed opposition’s account of Deng’s visits to Washington, describing it as a success.