(Sudan Tribune) The United Kingdom will continue to provide humanitarian aid to relieve the suffering of civilians in South Sudan but the peace is the only solution for the four-year crisis, said a British official at the end of his two-day visit.
The Permanent Secretary of the UK’s Department for International Development, Matthew Rycroft, Friday concluded a two-day trip to South Sudan where he met with South Sudanese officials including head and educations ministers.
The former UK ambassador to the United Nations who was appointed last January visited South Sudan for the first time on 5-6 April to inspect the humanitarian activities of the UKAid in the war-torn country.
During his meetings in Juba, Rycroft emphasized the need for the government to engage meaningfully in the peace process and underlined the need to ensure unhindered access for humanitarian workers.
"UKAid is saving lives in South Sudan. But it is the Government of South Sudan that has the responsibility to stop the suffering of its people," said the British official in a radio interview in Juba, according to a statement released at the end of the visit.
"They and other parties to the conflict must engage constructively with the next round of peace talks, which represent a crucial opportunity for peace, and end the appalling human rights abuses we have seen. They must also permit free and unhindered humanitarian access,” he further stressed.
In 2017, the UK provided food for over 500,000 war-affected South Sudanese, safe drinking water to over 300,000 people, and supported around 5 million health consultations to children under 5 years. Also, the UK is promoting girls’ education and supporting 3,600 schools.
Rycroft also met with the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, David Shearer.
"Matthew welcomed the close relationship between the UK and UNMISS, and re-iterated the UK’s full support for the UN Secretary-General’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on sexual exploitation and abuse".
There are nearly 400 British peacekeepers deployed to provide vital engineering and medical assistance in South Sudan
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