UN seeks to enhance civilian protection, reconciliation efforts in S. Sudan
The United Nations (UN) peacekeeping chief said UN will broaden civilian protection and reconciliation in South Sudan to enable the citizens to enjoy peace dividends.
Herve Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General (USG) in charge of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), told journalists late Monday that the world body will work to rebuild trust and reconciliation among the South Sudanese.
"Generally we intend to remain as proactive as possible, and both the military and police will do all they can. What is core of our mandate is protection of civilians and everything is to be done to isolate them from violence," Ladsous said at the end of his visit to Juba.
He urged South Sudanese leaders swiftly address security situation and economic crisis to pave way for peaceful return of internally displaced persons (IDPs), and for citizens to comprehend peace dividends.
"We want to see the country in addressing all the critical problems it has been facing as soon as possible to rapid the implementation of the agreement of the decisions which were already taken and for people to get sense of peace dividends," Ladsous said.
The UN peacekeeping chief said the formation of Transitional Government of National Unity (TGONU) in April "open a new page" for the young nation to manifest number of measures within the 30 months period for better livelihood of its people.
Ladsous, who arrived in Juba on Friday to evaluate the implementation of the peace accord, met with President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar, to examine future prospect regarding the execution of the agreement.
"It was very important to listen from South Sudanese leaders with one very important message that the responsibilities are theirs and we are not there to substitute. The decision have to be made by south Sudanese themselves, but we are in support," he noted.
Ladsous visited Bentiu and Malakal on Saturday and Sunday in a bid to take stock of the situation of the protection of civilians sites which still sheltered large number of IDPs.
South Sudan has been at war for more than two years, with at least 2.3 million people displaced and thousands killed after President Kiir accused his deputy Machar of plotting a coup, which he denied, leading to retaliatory killings.
Former rebel leader Machar has since returned and sworn in as first-vice president under a peace deal signed in August 2015, but more than 150,000 people still live in UN protected camps in six sites across the country.