National, News

 Minister refutes US insecurity report  

By Bida Elly David

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deng Dau Deng, has refuted the US Department of State report that South Sudan remains a dangerous place for humanitarian workers.

The US Department of State report on the implementation of the peace agreement alleges that the parties to the R-ARCSS are not still up to the task of implementing the peace in letter and spirit.

It further added that since 2013, South Sudan still remains one of the countries with a dangerous environment for aid workers that for instance, 158 aid workers have been killed in the country.

In response to the report, Mr. Dau argued that South Sudan has gained amenities compared to the 2013 and 2016, horrible situations.

“First and foremost, this is 2023; it is not 2013, it is not 2014, and it is not 2016. We signed this agreement on October 12, 2018. The environment of 2018 and the environment of today are totally different,” Dau reacted.

The acting foreign affairs minister, however, underscored that the US Department of State is entitled to its opinion concerning what they have witnessed or heard, but noted that situations are transformable.

He said that the fact that South Sudan was at war does not mean it is still in bloodshed, adding that the peace process is active and moving towards implementation.

“Of course, the United States and the Department of State are entitled to their opinion, but we said that South Sudan and the members of the revitalized government have gone very far. Peace is being implemented,” Dau hinted.

“You can see from 2017 up to date, the cessation of hostilities or ceasefire has been holding, and the members of the agreement have been implementing the agreement in letter and spirit,” he added.

The foreign minister further noted that the three organs of the government have been jointly working towards addressing any political or civil differences that might trigger standoffs.

“We have a government in place at the national level; we have the parliament at the state and national levels.” We have a government at the state level.”

Mr. Dau, however, paid tribute to the slain aid workers in the country who got killed in the course of serving the nation in the delivery of humanitarian assistance, adding that the authority is working towards probing the incidents.

“The government has increased the capacity to help the humanitarian workers deliver services across South Sudan. We had a very lengthy discussion with the UN on how to improve the movement of services,” he said.

He pointed out the removal of all illegal checkpoints both at the Nile and along routes.

“We as a government are working to implement all the remaining provisions of the agreement, including the constitutional making process and the reconstitution of the election commission, within the remaining 16 months,” he assured.

In 2022 report, South Sudan was ranked among the most dangerous places in the world for humanitarians, according to OCHA.

The matrix showed that nine aid workers were killed and nearly 420 incidents were reported after three aid workers lost their lives in the line of duty in separate attacks.

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