|Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of Vietnam’s mission to the UN (Photo: VNA)
UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for South Sudan and head of UNMISS David Shearer, and Executive Director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO) in South Sudan Edmund Yakani delivered reports at the event.
According to them, there have been encouraging steps in South Sudan recently, especially the formation of the transitional government on February 22, with former opposition leader Riek Marchar appointed as First Vice President.
The new cabinet also includes one vice president and nine ministers who are women while relevant parties there reached an agreement on the allocation of states, they noted.
However, conflicts between the government’s troops and armed groups that haven’t taken part in the 2018 peace deal, as well as the violence among communities, are tending to escalate.
Besides, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit hard the economic and humanitarian situations in South Sudan and hampered the transitional period as its government has to focus on dealing with the outbreak, the reports added.
As of June 23, South Sudan recorded 1,892 COVID-19 cases, including three vice presidents and nine ministers. There were also 34 deaths from the viral disease.
David Shearer said the UNMISS has continued efforts to protect civilians amid the spread of COVID-19, pointing out some difficulties the mission is facing as the local government has issued travel restrictions to curb the pandemic. He also called on the UN Security Council and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development to keep promoting relevant parties in South Sudan to push ahead with the peace agreement.
At the meeting, some member countries of the UN Security Council urged the parties in South Sudan to fully implement the peace and ceasefire agreements while welcoming some positive developments recently. They showed their support for the international community to increase assistance for South Sudan to handle humanitarian issues and COVID-19 impacts. Some suggested the country pay attention to exercise justice during the transitional period, fight corruption, and ensure the rights to freedom and participation of people, especially women, during the process of national reconstruction.
For his part, Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, head of Vietnam’s mission to the UN, highly valued the recent progress in South Sudan and its transitional government’s efforts to cope with COVID-19.
He also sympathised with difficulties in carrying out the peace agreement due to the pandemic and noted that the ceasefire deal has been basically observed though certain complications remain.
Reiterating Vietnam’s support for the UNMISS, Quy also informed participations about efforts by Vietnam’s level-2 field hospital in Bentiu city in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The country now has 68 officers at the UNMISS, including 11 females.
Vietnam officially took part in UN peacekeeping operations by sending two officers to the UNMISS in 2014. Its level-2 field hospital has been deployed in Bentiu since 2018. From the beginning of 2020 to June 10, this hospital handled 927 patients. Its members have also participated in anti-COVID-19 training for UN staff and local people.