UN peacekeeping chief arrives in Juba

from UN Mission in South Sudan
Published on 02 Feb 2014 View Original

2 February 2014 - UNMISS staff had shown a great resilience and effectiveness as they assisted the South Sudanese people during the crisis in the country, the UN peacekeeping operations chief said in Juba today.

“There had to be difficult decisions to be made,” said Under-Secretary-General Hervé Ladsous on arrival in the country for a two-day visit. “I think it’s a credit to the UN that the Special Representative of the Secretary General and all the staff, whether international or national … have displayed such strength during these very difficult circumstances.”

Mr. Ladsous, who arrived from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa where he attended the African Union (AU) summit was met by UNMISS Chief Hilde F. Johnson. During his visit, he will meet with UN staff and peacekeepers as well as senior government officials to discuss the ongoing crisis in the country and the operations of UNMISS.

“I thought it only natural that I should come to Juba, to visit UNMISS to commend the bravery and the incredible work that they have been doing over this terrible period and also to see the senior leadership in the country to see how we can helps towards coming out of this terrible ordeal that South Sudan has suffered,” he said.

Mr. Ladsous and Under Secretary General for field support Ameerah Haq represented the UN during a meeting held by the AU-UN Joint Task Force on Peace and Security immediately after the AU assembly of heads of state and government in Addis Ababa.

“The task force recognized that the outbreak of violence was due to political disagreements and emphasized that a lasting solution could only be found through dialogue,” said a statement on the AU website. “In that regard, the AU and the UN would continue to support the mediation led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and ongoing efforts to establish a mechanism for the monitoring and verification of the cessation of hostilities agreement.”

The UN also pledged full support to the Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations being established by the AU as an important tool for promoting accountability, reconciliation and healing, the statement added.