DOWNLOAD APP: Download JUBAECHO mobile app now available on play store & coming soon to app store.
Michael A. Koehler, Deputy Director-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) (Right) and Timo Olkkonen, the EU Ambassador to South Sudan (Left) address a press conference on Wednesday in Juba.

South Sudan needs to restore peace and security to win international support: EU envoy

South Sudan government needs to restore peace and security in order to win crucial financial assistance from the international community in the year 2023 and beyond, said a visiting top European Union envoy on Wednesday.

Michael A. Koehler, Deputy Director-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) said the continued communal violence and attacks on aid workers and convoys has kept away badly needed financial assistance to the country.

“Unfortunately, we see that more and more often aid workers being attacked, South Sudanese just as much as international expatriate aid workers, we see more check points and we see more attacks against aid convoys and that is very difficult to accept,” Koehler told journalists in Juba.

Koehler was speaking after concluding his two -day visit between 27-29 March to the country where he met with internally displaced persons in Bentiu town of Unity state and senior government officials to understand the humanitarian situation.

Last year, UN agencies launched the 2023 humanitarian response for South Sudan totaling 1.7 billion U.S dollars, but only 488.6 million dollars have been secured so far.

Koehler said that the ongoing war in Ukraine and other humanitarian crises in Syria, and Afghanistan have overshadowed the dire humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.

He said this could only change if South Sudan starts to register positive progress in terms of implementing the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.

“In international meetings people speak about the crisis in Ukraine, the crisis in Afghanistan, Syria and the crisis in Venezuela and Somalia and forth, we have to make sure that they keep the needs of the people of South Sudan on the radar screen, so visibility is important,” Koehler said.

“The second thing is more important, you need to have good news from South Sudan, every single step that you can take yourself and it starts with peace and it starts with ensuring that security is good and it encourages international donors to come in,” he disclosed.

 “If we have the feeling that the situation is getting worse and that the nation is falling back into war and conflict, of course it’s very difficult to motivate new donors to come and put money to the benefit of the people,” Koehler added.

An estimated 9.4 million people, a staggering 76 percent of South Sudan’s population, will have humanitarian or protection needs in 2023 which presents an increase of half a million people compared to 2022.

Timo Olkkonen, the EU Ambassador to South Sudan called on the parties to the revitalized peace deal to speed up the constitutional making process and also conclude the graduation of the remaining unified forces.

“We also underlined our concern about the delays in the implementation of the peace agreement that even in terms of the roadmap we are already missing some important deadlines, and we really encourage that the prevailing disagreements at the political level wouldn’t delay further the extremely important processes on constitution making and also preparing for elections,” he said.

Olkkonen added that the parties require renewed efforts to complete different chapters of the peace agreement before the country prepares for elections in December 2024.

Facebook Comments Box