News / Africa

    Hilde Johnson to Step Down as UNMISS Head

    • Hilde Johnson, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), holds a video press conference from Juba, South Sudan on Dec. 26, 2013.
    • A protester at a rally in Juba on March 10, 2014, holds up a sign against UNMISS head Hilde Johnson.
    • The United Nations' Special Representative for the Republic of South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, speaks at the Voice of America town hall meeting in Juba on Thursday, March 28, 2013.
    • United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Hilde Johnson, address a news conference during a visit by Ban to South Sudan on May 6, 2014.
    • A protester holds up two signs against UNMISS head Hilde Johnson at a peace rally in Juba in March 2014.
    Hilde Johnson to Step Down as UNMISS Head
    Philip Aleu
    Hilde Johnson announced Friday she will be stepping down as the head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) when her contract expires in July.

    “I informed the President (Salva Kiir) that by Independence Day in July, I will have completed my three years as Special Representative, which is much more than usual for an SRSG in a peacekeeping mission of this nature, and in particular with the crisis that we’ve gone through,” Johnson told reporters. 

    Johnson did not take any questions and declined to say why she was leaving or whether she was given the option of renewing her contract.
     
    “It’s been a real honor to serve and I will still be here for a few weeks," Johnson said.

    "South Sudan really has a strong place in my heart and will continue to have that,” she said.

    The announcement came just days after the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution to extend UNMISS’s mandate by six months.
     
    South Sudan really has a strong place in my heart and will continue to have that.
    The resolution also changed UNMISS’s focus from consolidating peace and promoting state and economic development in the young nation to protecting civilians and ending the violence.

    UNMISS officials declined to say when Johnson's replacement would be named.

    Officials in the ministries of information and foreign affairs, and in the office of the president, said they were not authorized to comment on Johnson’s announcement.

    The government will release an official statement once they have received formal notification of Johnson’s decision to leave, they said.
     
    The government has been critical of UNMISS in recent months, but especially since fighting broke out in South Sudan in mid-December.

    Around a month into the conflict, Kiir accused UNMISS of attempting to run a parallel government, stopping short of naming Johnson as "co-president." He quickly backed away from the remarks.
     
    During an anti-U.N. demonstration in Juba in March, protesters carried signs bearing Johnson’s image, accusing her of killing the people of South Sudan and siding with the opposition in the conflict.

    Those protests followed the discovery by South Sudan security officials of weapons in an overland UNMISS convoy. The Mission is prohibited from carrying weapons by land and called it an unfortunate mistake. Protesters accused UNMISS of attempting to arm opposition forces, a charge UN officials have vehemently denied.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora