Oct 25, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —– The United States Ambassador to the United Nations has demanded greater progress towards peace in South Sudan during a flying visit to the country’s capital Juba.
Ambassador Nikki Haley visited the United Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and saw first-hand the challenges faced by the 33,000 people sheltering from ongoing violence in the nearby Protection of Civilians site.
She also met with the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, and had what she described as a “very frank” conversation about the lack of progress towards peace since civil war broke out almost four years ago.
“I didn’t come here to talk. I came here to say the time for action is now. We are not waiting anymore we need to see a change and we need to see it right away,” she said. “We have lost trust in this Government and we now need to regain that trust. The only way to regain that trust is through the actions of taking care of all of the people. President Kiir is the president of everyone, not just one tribe, not just one group. In order to be a leader you have to be willing to take care of all of your people.”
The United States is the largest humanitarian donor in South Sudan, investing more than $11 billion dollars in aid.
“We are disappointed by what we are seeing. This is not what we thought we were investing in,” said Ambassador Haley. “What we thought we were investing in was a free, fair society where people could be safe and South Sudan is the opposite of that.”
Those sheltering in the camp next to the UN base used the opportunity provided by the Ambassador’s visit to urge the US to hear their plea for help. Hundreds of people lined the roads of the site and gathered outside her meeting with reunited families to chant and call for peace.
The Ambassador says the US is listening and is committed to ensuring the future generation of South Sudan get the opportunities they deserve to live a peaceful, dignified, and prosperous life.
“Our concern is for the children, these children who are getting into armed conflict as early as nine years old, these children who are not being educated, those are the future leaders of South Sudan,” she said. For the good of the children, we need peace. We need all of the groups to say enough, we’re not going to do this anymore.”
The UN Mission in South Sudan is working to protect civilians and build durable peace. The Head of the Mission and Special Representative of the Secretary-General, David Shearer, welcomed the opportunity to brief the Ambassador on the political and security situation faced by the peacekeeping operation.
“It’s great to have her here. She spoke very passionately and strongly about wanting to see peace and to see change in South Sudan,” said David Shearer. “She had some very supportive messages to give about the work that we are doing in the UN and UNMISS which we are grateful for. To be able to carry that impression back to the Security Council and be able to speak authoritatively and understand having been here will be a great help to moving things along.”
As she flew out, the Ambassador made a promise to the people of South Sudan.
“We are not going to forget you. We are not going to put these issues away. We are not going to turn a blind eye to them,” she said. “We’ve heard the stories. We know the actions. We know the tragedy. We know that healing is going to take a very long time but the US is not going to give up on the people of South Sudan.”
That promise of support will provide some reassurance to those still suffering from the conflict who are desperate for the guns to be silenced so they can return to their homes and live in peace.