Featured, Humanitarian, News, Politics

Juba attends opening of US Jerusalem embassy despite abstaining earlier

Dozens killed by Israeli fire as US Embassy opens in Jerusalem - May 15, 2018 | Credit | Financial Daily

South Sudan is among the few countries that attended the opening of the U.S embassy in Jerusalem yesterday, despite abstaining from endorsing the move earlier.

Israel’s foreign ministry said it had invited 86 countries with diplomatic missions in Israel but only 33 countries confirmed attendance.

In December last year, South Sudan and 34 other countries withheld their votes on the UN resolution not to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Thirty five countries had abstained from the votes after Turkey and Yemen co-sponsored a draft resolution which called on all countries to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.

The decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was overwhelmingly condemned by most UN member countries despite threats from the US to pull funding from the world body.

However, in yesterday’s move by President Donald Trump, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Zambia, Ivory Coast and Nigeria attended the event.

Uganda and Burundi are the only two countries from the East African region that did not send an ambassador to the opening ceremony.

Previous US presidents, including several Asians, and European countries refrained from attending the opening of the U.S embassy in Jerusalem, arguing that the city’s final status should first be resolved through Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Palestinian leaders see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state and have said that Trump’s move disqualifies the US as a peace mediator.

According to health officials in Gaza, at least 52 Palestinians were killed, and more than 2,000 were wounded, in protests against the move.

The Arab League describes the move as a blatant attack on the feelings of Arabs and Muslims and a grave violation of the rules of international law that would destabilize the Middle East.

The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, in a statement said there is no Plan B to a two-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace.

Earlier, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mawien Makol, told Eye Radio that South Sudan’s position is aligned to that of the UN and the AU – which backs a two-state solution between the Palestine and the Israel.