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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More