The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has wrapped up a three-day visit to South Sudan to reaffirm its support for peace, and reiterated its calls to the government to fulfill its commitments
“The fact that we are getting on the UN plane and going home does not mean that we are going to forget about them,” United States Ambassador Samantha Power, the co-lead of the Council delegation, said at the conclusion of the visit.
What no one could endure was the legacy of having seen this beautiful newest country of the UN torn apart, added Power in a Monday UN press release.
The visit followed the Council’s recent renewal of the mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), which included the approval of a 4 000-strong regional protection force to aid with security in the capital, Juba.
It also came before the UN secretary-general has to provide his first report on the progress achieved in implementing the new mandate.
In early July, close to the fifth anniversary of the country’s independence, the youngest nation was plunged into fresh violence due to clashes between rival forces – the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), loyal to President Salva Kiir, and the SPLA in Opposition, backing former first vice-president Riek Machar.
The clashes led to a number of deaths and injuries, including those of several UNMISS peacekeepers, further undermining the implementation of the peace agreement between the political rivals in August 2015, which formally ended their differences.
A joint communique issued on Sunday indicated that the government was committed to removing impediments to the ability of UNMISS to implement its mandate.
These included reviewing procedures related to movement of UNMISS and streamlining bureaucratic processes.
Power, however, cautioned that these commitments would be measured by the extent to which South Sudanese people felt safer than they were now.
Senegalese Ambassador Fode Seck, the co-lead of the Council delegation, said this was “a very positive visit, both on the side of the government and on the side of the UN Security Council”.
Remaining optimistic that the government would stick to its commitments, he stressed the need for the citizens to unite for nation-building.
“This country is so blessed by nature, and it can become the giant of Africa, feeding Africa, exporting and contributing to the continents development,” he added.
The delegation held a series of high-level meetings with President Kiir and other Transitional Government members, civil society groups, faith-based organisations and senior UN officials.
The Council member states represented in the delegation included Angola, China, Egypt, France, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Senegal, Spain, Ukraine, United States, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela.
– African News Agency (ANA)