News / Africa

UN Expresses 'Cautious Optimism' About South Sudan

FILE - Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir arrives in South Sudan's capital Juba to meet his counterpart Salva Kiir for talks on trade, borders and other outstanding issues between the former civil war foes, Oct. 22, 2013. (H. McNeish for VOA)
FILE - Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir arrives in South Sudan's capital Juba to meet his counterpart Salva Kiir for talks on trade, borders and other outstanding issues between the former civil war foes, Oct. 22, 2013. (H. McNeish for VOA)
Larry Freund
The top United Nations official for South Sudan, as well as South Sudan’s U.N. representative, are expressing cautious optimism about the months ahead in that country, but they also agree South Sudan faces significant challenges.  
 
In remarks to the United Nations Security Council, the head of the U.N. Mission in South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, said the country is still traveling a bumpy road.  But, she added, there are positive indications that it can turn the corner.  

Among the issues of concern, she said, is the situation in South Sudan’s volatile Jonglei state.  Despite relative stability in recent weeks, what she called “the vicious cycle of retaliatory violence” poses risks to the government’s effort to stabilize the state.

Johnson then pointed to another area of “grave concern,” the performance of South Sudan’s security forces.

“South Sudan continues to face serious challenges in the area of the promotion and protection of human rights.  Key issues include prolonged and arbitrary detentions, excessive use of force and arbitrary killings by ill-disciplined security forces and agencies, and individual incidents of interference with the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly," said Johnson.

In separate remarks, South Sudan U.N. Representative Francis Deng told the Security Council the government is committed to what he described as a policy of zero tolerance for crimes against civilians, especially by the army.

“The government has court martialed those soldiers who committed abuses, and has opened new investigations into abuses. It is my belief that we have responded as fast as was possible in difficult circumstances to the need for justice and accountability," said Deng.

The situation in Jonglei state, Deng said, presents a challenge to the government’s ability to take primary responsibility for the protection of South Sudan’s civilians.  South Sudan’s will to remove the obstacles it faces, he concluded, is undiminished.  

U.N. official Johnson said South Sudan is at a cross roads and the international community cannot afford to see the world’s newest country fail.

Following a closed-door meeting of the Security Council, the council president, China’s ambassador Liu Jieyi, said there have been positive developments in South Sudan - including the strengthening of the government, signs of economic development and the improvement of the security situation, although, he said, serious challenges remain.

“But the important thing is that the government is taking steps by itself and also in cooperation with the U.N. presence on the ground," said Liu.

Liu said the Security Council supports the U.N. Mission in South Sudan and hopes for closer cooperation between the U.N. mission and Sudan’s government.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Isaiah Sour from: Aweil city
November 19, 2013 9:26 AM
South s. recently rose the grassroot of which she can't be able to reach 100% in term of stability, security, unity and development as ppl aren't understanding themselves.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs