UN Calls for Access to Vulnerable Populations in South Sudan
The UN has called upon South Sudan President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar to allow its agencies access to vulnerable populations in the war-stricken country.
South Sudan has been in a state of civil war for 21 months now – an ongoing conflict, despite recent peace deals – and the UN has voiced concerns over the humanitarian situation in the country.
Monitoring developments in South Sudan
UN Deputy Secretary General, Jan Eliasson, spoke of concerns at a briefing in New York, after a high level meeting of the General Assembly on South Sudan.
He said: “We are also worried about lacking access to the whole country. We need very much to reach all areas. The humanitarian situation is extremely dire. And there are also serious human rights violations going on, which we have to be monitoring developments.”
The UN meeting was attended by opposition leader Riek Machar, South Sudanese Vice President James Wani Igga and the ruling party’s Secretary General, Pagan Amum. President Salva Kiir confirmed earlier this month he would not accept invitation to the meeting, although he offered his thoughts through a video conference link.
An issue of trust in South Sudan
Jan Elliasson feels a lack of trust is seriously harming South Sudan’s chances of successfully implementing a peace deal that was agreed earlier this year.
“The basic issue is, I would say, trust. There has to be trust between the signatories, between the Government and Dr. Riek Machar’s SPLM, in opposition, and the former detainees who were represented by Pagan Amum at this meeting,” he said.
President Kiir gave his thoughts at the UN summit through video, reinforcing the need for peace in South Sudan:
“The horror has been going on for far too long and we understand now that the people of South Sudan support this agreement fully. This is a strength in itself — that the people of South Sudan themselves want the parties to come to an agreement,” he said.