Regional and international bodies need to speak with one voice on S. Sudan: envoy


Ambassador Tekeda Alemu speaking in a press conference at the UN headquarters on 1 September 2017(ST Photo)

September 1, 2017 (NEW YORK) – There is a need for the regional and international community to speak with one voice on South Sudan, said the Ethiopian ambassador to the United Nations on Friday.

Ambassador Tekeda Alemu who chairs the Security Council for September made the remark during a press conference held at the UN headquarters to present the Council programme of work for this month.

Asked about the most important issues that he wants to see progress during his chairmanship of the Security Council this month, Alemu said.

“South Sudan is our major preoccupation” adding that progress is achievable if there is enough good will and commitment.

“If the countries in the region speak with one voice, if the Security Council speaks with one voice, it will be possible to make tremendous progress in South Sudan. This is not happening. Hopefully, this will change,” he further stressed.

The Ethiopian diplomat will lead a Security Council delegation to Addis Ababa this month for an annual consultative meeting between members of the UN Security Council and members of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC).

South Sudan and Somalia are expected to top the agenda of the joint meeting.

Alemu showed optimism saying the situation in the South Sudan is not very difficult and progress can be achieved.

“If we could make some progress with respect to South Sudan, it would really be fantastic, it would really be extremely beneficial, not only for the people of South Sudan but for the region as a whole,” he said.

The 15-member body this month will be briefed by the Secretary General on the implementation of the mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Also, it will be briefed on the deployment of the Regional Protection Force (RPF).

The four-year armed conflict in South Sudan displaced some 1.89 million people inside the country and forced other 1.97 million people to flee to neighbouring countries. Also, nearly the half of the country population are severely food-insecure.

(ST)