January 19, 2017 (JUBA) – The United States Assistant Secretary of State for Bureau of African Affairs visited Juba on Wednesday but failed to meet President Salva Kiir or any government representative, local media reported on Thursday .
- Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, testifies on Jan. 9, 2014, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on situation in South Sudan. (Photo AP Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Linda Thomas-Greenfield arrived to Juba on Wednesday in a one-day visit before to travel to Ethiopia. The purpose of the visit was to discuss issues if mutual concern, to discuss humanitarian assistance with the international organisations working in the country.
She concluded her visit by meeting the U.S. Embassy staffs and a selected number of editors from South Sudanese newspapers and radio stations.
“I am disappointed that I cannot meet the President or other member of his government,” Linda told the journalists, according to the English language newspaper, The Juba Monitor.
The American diplomat, said her one day trip was meant to empathize Washington position on deployment of UN Security Council authorized Regional Protection Force and continued support to the full implementation of the shaky peace agreement.
Linda said the national dialogue announced by President Salva Kiir last month should be inclusive.
“It has to be one in which people feel confidence in the process,” she told editors from the US funded Eye Radio, UN’s Radio Miraya and independent The Juba Monitor newspaper in a brief encounter in Juba on Wednesday.
“So it is not just the process that is being controlled by the government but is an open process that everyone who is participating makes some contribution to how it will be organized,” she said.
The National Dialogue announced by President Kiir will be headed by former political and religious leaders.
President Kiir appointed the steering committee of more than 50 members without consulting his rivals from the armed SPLM In Opposition or any other political parties, attracting criticism of attempting to negotiate with himself.