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US condemns decision to expel Toby Lanzer

Author : | Published: Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The United States has condemned the government’s decision to expel the United Nations Deputy Special Representative in South Sudan.

Yesterday, presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny confirmed to Eye radio that the Council of Ministers on Friday asked Mr Lanzer to leave the country.

He said Mr Lanzer, who is also the UN humanitarian Coordinator, made a series of  ‘untruthful statements’, including the collapse of the country’s economy.

“The expulsion of Mr. Lanzer is an affront to the international community working to bring peace and stability to South Sudan, and demonstrates a callous disregard for the suffering of the South Sudanese people,” John Kirby US Department of State Spokesperson said in a statement.

Toby Lanzer
Toby Lanzer

“The government’s priority should be bringing an end to the violence that has already displaced more than 2 million of its citizens – half a million of whom are now refugees in neighboring countries – and left 4.6 million facing extreme, life-threatening hunger.”

The UN chief, Ban Ki-moon has also condemned the move and called on the government to reverse its decision immediately.

Mr. Lanzer was coming to the end of his term, and in order to ensure continuity for this critical function, the Secretary-General has already appointed his successor, Eugene Owusu, whose nomination was announced on 29 May.

Mr Ateny told Eye Radio’s Memo Lasuba during the Sundown show that ‘UN’s call to reverse expulsion of Mr Lanzer hasn’t been communicated to President Kiir. Hence, we cannot talk about whether to reverse it or not’.

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