By Parach Mach
JUBA, South Sudan
South Sudan’s foreign ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador in Juba on Friday over a recent comment by the U.S envoy at the UN about the South Sudanese government.
Ambassador Nikki Haley, the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, in her speech to the UN Security Council on Wednesday, denounced the country's president and its government as “an unfit partner” for the UN Security council and any country seeking peace and security for the people of South Sudan.
The country’s undersecretary of foreign affairs, Ambassador Bak Valentino Wol, said Nikki Haley’s comment during her speech to the United Nations was "demeaning, undermining, and disrespectful" to South Sudanese sovereignty.
“South Sudan summoned the United States ambassador to explain these defamatory remarks. Ambassador Haley seems to forget that the Republic of S. Sudan is a sovereign state and its leadership deserves respect,” Wol told reporters in the capital Juba.
Ambassador Haley noted in her address to the UN Security Council that the U.S. had “invested well over $11 billion in South Sudan and the government of President Kiir, but President Kiir and his government have become an unfit partner to the U.S. for prolonging the war and the suffering of the people of South Sudan."
Wol referred to Haley’s comments as “disturbing” and said the remarks definitely did not serve the good relations which the government of South Sudan always wished to exist between the two countries.
U.S. watchdog Enough Project on Thursday urged the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to clamp down on spoilers undermining South Sudan’s peace process.
It said those who undermined the peace process in South Sudan had been emboldened by the repeated lack of action by key regional bodies, contributing to an escalation of armed conflict and imperiling the prospects of peace.
The United States has aided South Sudan's fight for independence and financed its attempts at political and economic development.South Sudan gained independence in 2011 but fell into a civil war in 2013, with tens of thousands killed and nearly four million displaced ever since. A peace deal was forged between Kiir and Machar in August 2016, but the fighting that erupted in the capital Juba in July 2016 further jeopardized that deal.