The United Nations has expressed concern that African conflicts are being forgotten by the international community. The U.N. Security Council has just returned from a trip to South Sudan and Somalia, two countries it’s keen to highlight as needing a renewed focus to prevent humanitarian crises. CCTV America’s Nick Harper reports.
Forgotten conflicts: UNSC calls for focus on South Sudan and SomaliaThe United Nations has expressed concern that African conflicts are being forgotten by the international community. The UN Security Council has just returned from a trip to South Sudan and Somalia, two countries it's keen to highlight as needing a renewed focus to prevent humanitarian crises. CCTV America's Nick Harper reports.
People forced to the United Nations compound of Malakal in South Sudan by the fighting are angry with their leaders’ refusal to compromise. President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar seem unable to form a new government that would end the conflict.
“I think the whole region is focused on this crisis. There’s no shortage of attention to South Sudan,” said Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Representative to the UN. “There’s a shortage of political will to bring peace to South Sudan on the part of the leader. That’s the problem.”
For years, Somalia’s capital Mogadishu was a place many tried to forget. It’s now three years since the armed group al-Shabaab was forced out of the city. The U.N. fears Somalia will be forgotten with more immediate conflicts dominating the headlines.
“There are many many crises, in eastern Ukraine, in Iraq, in Syria, in Libya, in Gaza. But there are also many humanitarian crises around the world, in Central Africa Republic and Mali. And there is a donor fatigue, there is a political-focus fatigue is you like, so it’s really important that we don’t lose sight of countries where there is a real chance of making a difference.” – Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, UN Security Council President
Both countries are chronically underfunded. The U.N. has only reached half of this year’s South Sudan appeal total and just over a quarter for Somalia. The Security Council hopes their trip can make a difference.
It’s a huge undertaking bringing the whole of the Security Council to countries as unstable as Somalia and South Sudan. They do it because they say they want to see the situation first hand so they can redouble their efforts when they return to New York.
It also shows the international community that countries like Somalia and South Sudan, not normally at the top of the priority list, need more attention and more commitment.
With convoys at the ready and peacekeepers on patrol the United Nations is determined these do not become forgotten conflicts. However, they can only do that if the funding is also not forgotten.