People of South Sudan deserve “functioning, stable” state: new UN envoy (Podcast)

Displaced civilians in South Sudan. UN Photo/Eric Kanalstein

The South Sudanese people deserve a “functioning and stable” state that looks after them and provides for their peace, the new UN envoy for the country has urged.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for the country, David Shearer, arrived in the capital city of Juba on Friday.

Ethnically-based killings continue in Africa’s youngest nation following an outbreak of violence last July where hundreds were killed and more than 200 people were raped.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The situation in South Sudan remains volatile after clashes erupted between rival forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former Vice-President Riek Machar in July last year.

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General, David Shearer, succeeds Ms. Ellen Margrethe Løj, who completed her assignment at the end of November 2016, after serving for almost three years.

Mr Shearer said he was arriving with a “fresh and open mind” and would spend time listening to what various stakeholders had to say.

“I am looking forward to the assignment. I know it is going to be challenging. But I feel the South Sudanese people deserve to have a state that is functioning and that looks after them and is stable and provides for their peace and their prosperity. So what we can do to contribute to that, I will certainly be doing my very best to make sure that happens.”

David Shearer, who is also the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), said he will spend his first few weeks in “listening mode” meeting with the various actors.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 43″