Good wishes in short supply for South Sudan on its fourth anniversary


There have not been any bouquets for South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation to mark its fourth year of existence this week. Instead the United Nations has called it “a manmade catastrophe”.

When the east African country yesterday marked its fourth anniversary the UN Security Council expressed “profound disappointment” with President Salva Kiir, former vice president Riek Machar I and other leaders “who have put personal ambitions ahead of the good of the country and its people” in a statement.

The world body noted the failure of Kiir and Machar to pursue peace has resulted in the death of tens of thousands of civilians, the displacement of more than 2.1 million people, and the attacks on and deaths of UN peacekeepers, internally displaced persons receiving UN protection and humanitarian personnel.

The Council also anticipated with interest the findings and recommendations of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan and encouraged the public release of the final report urgently. In this regard the statement said it looked forward to the outcome of the African Union Peace and Security Council Ministerial-level meeting scheduled for July 14.

The security situation in South Sudan has deteriorated steadily over the past year since political in-fighting between President Kiir and his former Vice-President Machar and their respective factions erupted in December 2013. The hostilities subsequently turned into a full-fledged conflict, resulting in reported atrocities and possible war crimes.

In a separate statement Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the people of South Sudan would mark the fourth anniversary of their country’s founding amid ongoing suffering, unconscionable levels of violence and unspeakable sexual abuse.