I delivered a “hash message” to President Kiir -Nikky Haley
By Senior Staff Writer
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikky Haley, who visited South Sudan on Wednesday as part of her first visit to Africa said she delivered what she dubbed “hash message” to President Salva Kiir.
The top U.S. diplomat made the remark in an exclusive interview with Radio Miraya (the UN Radio in South Sudan) at the end of her ten-hour-visit to Juba. The message was said to be harsh ostensibly due to the dire situation in the country.
“The original reason why we wanted to come to South Sudan was that the United States had invested a lot in the independence and the freedom of the people of South Sudan, it had been well over eleven billion dollars, and then a lot of energy and a lot of resources as well,” Ambassador Nikki said.
She also expressed her government’s frustrations saying, “we are disappointed by what we are seeing, this isn’t what we thought we were investing in, we thought we were investing in a free, fair society, where people could be safe, but South Sudan is the opposite of that,” Ambassador Nikki lamented.
“I didn’t come here to talk, I came here to basically say; the time for action is now, we are not waiting anymore, we need to see a change and we need to see it right away, and there is nothing that we can say at this point, we have lost trust in the government of South Sudan and we now need to regain that trust and the only way to regain that is through the actions of taking care of all the people,” the U.S. diplomat stated.
“President Kiir is the president of everyone, not just one tribe, not just one group, and in order to be a leader, you have to be willing to take care of your people. So it was a ‘hash message’, but on the other side, the President listened, he accepted and he promised that we would see changes,” Ambassador Nikki added.
Though angry with the situation in the country, the U.S. top diplomat said her government was not going to give up on South Sudanese, adding that the United States of America’s government and people would continue to fight for the country to ensure that peace and security become a permanent part of South Sudan.
She described the situations of South Sudanese refugees in Gambela region of Ethiopia and the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) whom she visited at the Protection of Civilians Sites (PoCs) in Juba as “tragic.”
“Our concern is these children who are getting into the armed conflict as young as nine years, these children are not being educated and these are the future leaders of South Sudan. So for the good of the children, we need peace, we need all the groups to say ‘enough’ we are not going to do this anymore—the future of South Sudan is extremely important,” Ambassador Nikki cautioned.
“We had a very frank conversation, in fairness to him, President Salve Kiir, listened, he was not defensive and what I told him was that the United States has heard a lot of talks, I wasn’t here to listen to what he had to say, I am here to say the United States is at ‘cross point’—it is not about talk, it is about action,” Ambassador Nikky stressed.
She also disclosed that President Donald Trump and his administration “deeply cares about the people of South Sudan” and said they were not going to stop caring for the people of South Sudan.
She concluded by assuring the people of South Sudan that United States of America (USA) was not going to forget the people of South Sudan, adding that Trump’s administration was not going to put these issues away and turn a ‘blind eye’ to the people of South Sudan.