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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's remarks at press encounter with President Salva Kiir of South Sudan

Juba, South Sudan, 6 May 2014

SG: I have visited Juba at this time. Thank you for your leadership and for your hospitality and also for receiving me at such a short time.

As you may remember, I was here three years ago at the time of the independence ceremony. It was full of joy, excitement and hope for the better future of South Sudan. The whole international community was supporting and was united.

Today, I am standing here with a sad and heavy, heavy heart. It is a source of various frustrations as well as sadness which I have seen today. I visited displaced persons who are now being accommodated in the UNMISS compound. The United Nations will continue to help them so that they will be able to return to their homes as soon as possible.

For that (to be) possible, there should be peace and security. I am very encouraged by President Salva Kiir’s strong commitment and willingness to address this issue as soon as possible and I am very much encouraged that he is expressing his willingness to sit down together with former Vice President Riek Machar.

I think this is absolutely necessary at this time, since this crisis hasbegun from political issues and therefore it is only natural and necessary that President Salva Kiir and Dr. Machar sit down together to address this issue through dialogue, in a peaceful way. That is what I am strongly supporting and I hope that the President will be able to meet as soon as possible.

I am going to speak to Dr. Machar from Juba and I will also strongly urge him, as one of the influential leaders of this country, even though they may have some different political views, there is nothing which they cannot overcome. They are same people, same country – this is their country.

The United Nations will continue to support the people of South Sudan so that they will be able to live in peace and harmony and also harmonious development under the leadership of President Salva Kiir.

As President Salva Kiir has said – and I also express my sincere desire – that before the farmers miss the planting season, they will be able to provide security, otherwise there will be a serious famine, (which) nobody wants.

While the United Nations and the international community (are) committed to provide humanitarian assistance, we hope that peace will be regained as soon as possible.

At the same time, I am urging the leaders and all those commanders of military units to fully protect the civilian population and also respect human rights and human dignity. Those who will be committing crimes against …international humanitarian law (and) human rights laws, they will have to be brought to justice.

The United Nations is behind the people of South Sudan, and that is why I am here. I wish you all continued success and prosperity and peace in this country. Thank you very much.

Q: Can you address the UN arms stand on South Sudan. A UN convoy recently… (inaudible)

SG:… As you know, I have constituted a committee of investigation on this and I have made a very transparent report to President Salva Kiir and President Salva Kiir also acknowledged that we can put this behind (us). There were some administrative mistakes (which) should not happen in any way, but there was no such intention. There was an administrative mistake and I am appreciative of President Salva Kiir and his Government’s understanding of this, and I made this again quite clear to President Salva Kiir.


Off-the-Cuff on 6 May 2014