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US Ambassador Haley tells off South Sudanese president Kiir

BY Tom Mugisha, tom.mugisha@alleastafrica.com

KAMPALA – The United States permanent representative to the United Nations, Nikki Haley has said time for talking is over and that South Sudan President Salva Kiir must act to serve all South Sudanese if he is to regain the trust of Washington.

“I didn’t come here to talk. I came here to 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,” she said.

Haley who was evacuated on  Wednesday from a U.N. camp in South Sudan after violence and looting broke out during a political demonstration said US has lost trust in the government of President Kiir.

“We have lost trust in this (South Sudan) government and we now need to regain that trust. The only way to regain that trust is through the actions of taking care of all of the people. President Kiir is the president of everyone, not just one tribe, not just one group. In order to be a leader you have to be willing to take care of all of your people.”

Haley, who’s on a visit to Africa left the camp hundred protesters opposing President Salva Kiir approached.

The ambassador is in Africa to see the involvement of both the U.S. and the U.N. in Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where she arrived late Wednesday.

John Prendergast, the Founding Director at the Enough Project and Co-Founder of the Sentry, a Washington -based peace advocacy group says America should impose biting consequences on the leaders of government and rebels who under undermine peace.

“There has to be a price for intransigence, and the U.S. has the underutilized policy tools to begin to exact that price.” he said.

A political disagreement between President Kiir and his former deputy turned rebel commander Riek Machar, has spiraled into a full-blown ethicized civil war.

That conflict has displaced millions, with Uganda hosting one million South Sudan refugees, according to UN refugee agency figures.

The US Department of State announced prior that the trip was intended to give her an opportunity for in-person assessment of the situation is trouble hotspots and the work of UN peace-keepers in Africa.

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