June 7th, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —— The U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 4th congressional district, Chris Smith, who just returned from war-torn South Sudan has met Salva Kiir and other politicians in the capital Juba,
Smith stressed that during the meeting he told Salva Kiir that the root causes of the conflict must be aggressively attacked, and the army must be professionalized.
“The root causes need to be attacked far more aggressively and that was our message, that was my message strongly to [South Sudan President] Salva Kiir,” Smith said.
“This can end where there’s a political will, where there’s a will within the military to be a professional fighting force, not a rogue fighting force made up of people that fleece, rape and murder at will.” He continued.
Attempts to discuss the root causes of the conflict for the last three years have proven challenging as part of the root causes stretch back to late 1980s and early 90s.
The US team. which also visited refugees camps in Uganda, witnessed one of the largest displacement of civilians.
According to UN agencies in Uganda, about 2,800 South Sudanese refugees cross the border into Uganda each day.
Smith acknowledged that over 1 million South Sudanese have crossed the border to Uganda causing more suffering in the camps as UN runs out of food and supplies for refugees.
US Politician calls for humanitarian assistance from the International Community for UNHCR to provide more basic needs to refugees.
“The poorest of the poor suffer greatly because of that lack of resourcing,” Smith says.
“So, I think we need to do even more in terms of food security, medicines, shelter — but especially the food side.” he added.
According to Smith, refugees are able to find relatives and get assistance once they arrive in the camp, however, he stresses that the UNHCR is running out of capacity and registration is being stopped.
“It is an arduous move for them once they get there to find relative safety, and we were at the receiving camps before they were taken to the larger camp by bus,” Smith said.
“They get stabilized, get some food, some medicines, an assessment medically to ensure infectious diseases are discovered…So there’s a very methodical effort but there’s no doubt and even the head of refugees for Uganda has stated publicly that they are reaching a capacity.” He continued.
Despite that US senators have visited the camps and also traveled to South Sudan to witness famine and deteriorating security, US government does not seem to have any viable solution for South Sudan’s crisis.
The US has allocated $911 million for South Sudan in 2016-2017 budget, however, the new administration is yet to appoint a special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan.