Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored that the United Nations looked forward to continuing to work closely with the Government of South Sudan, including with the new members of President Salva Kiir’s cabinet once they are confirmed.
In a phone call on Tuesday, Mr. Ban informed the President that he had been closely following the situation in the world’s youngest nation and that he was pleased to note that calm had prevailed after last week’s cabinet reshuffle.
The Secretary-General, however, remained deeply concerned about the situation in Jonglei state – where fighting between Government forces and armed groups has displaced thousands of civilians since January – and called on the Government, including the national army, to ensure the protection of civilians.
According to a read-out of the conversation, Mr. Ban also recalled the President’s commitment to ensure accountability for any abuses committed by the national army, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).
On South Sudan’s relations with Sudan, Mr. Ban stated he was relieved that the Government of Sudan had decided to postpone the deadline of shutting down the oil flow from South Sudan until 21 August.
Since South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July 2011, the peace between the two countries has been threatened by armed clashes along their common border and outstanding post-independence issues that have yet to be resolved, notably the status of the oil-rich area of Abyei.