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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid