15th April 2024
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UN won’t be part of South Sudan system forever – warns envoy

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Saturday, February 24, 2024

Hanna Serwaa Tetteh, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Horn of Africa, Jean Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary General and Nicholas Haysom, UNMISS chief speak at a press conference in Juba on Friday, February 16, 2024. (UNMISS).

A United Nations envoy said the world peacekeeping body would like to hand over its responsibilities to the people and government of South Sudan soon for them to take charge of their destiny.

Hanna Serwaa Tetteh, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Horn of Africa, spoke at a joint press conference with the UN Under-Secretary General Jean Pierre Lacroix in Juba on Friday.

Ms. Serwaa said the role of multiple UN bodies working in South Sudan, is only to provide support for the country to take charge of its own future.

“We’re not here to continuously be part of the system of South Sudan. Ultimately, we would like to see this being handed over fully to the people and the Government of South Sudan, and we hope that we’ll be getting to that point sooner rather than later,” she told the press in Juba.

Ms. Serwaa said 2024 is a momentous year for South Sudan as it could mark the end of the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement, which was signed to resolve the civil war that first erupted in 2013.

She stated that if the country is able to hold its first general elections in December 2024, it would be an important milestone in moving out of a post conflict phase into building a stronger and more inclusive democracy.

The UN official, however, strongly emphasized that elections are not an exit strategy for ending a peace process, but rather an opportunity to move forward.

“Neither would peacebuilding end and peace building activities end, if there was indeed an election held within time, but that notwithstanding, it creates the opportunity for people to focus their attention on the important task of nation building,” she said.

The UN official further called for the inclusion of women, minorities including people with special needs in leadership decision and roles in the upcoming elections.

“We should not treat them as if they are not part of society. They are an important part of society, and they can also play a strong a role in the development of institutions, peace building and development as anybody else.”

The senior UN officials visited South Sudan last week and met President Salva Kiir, his First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, cabinet ministers, governors, civil society, and local authorities in conflict zones.

 

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