South Sudan wants AU to condemn failed coup

Addis Ababa, Jan 28: Conflict-ridden South Sudan wants the African Union (AU) to take a strong stand at its upcoming summit this week against the failed coup in the east African country, a senior government official said Monday.

National coordinator of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) of South Sudan Thiik Giir Thiik told Xinhua in an interview that his country was yet to get a clear condemnation of the failed coup “at the highest level of the AU.”

Only regional organisations such as the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and ICGLR condemned the failed coup, he said.

“We are hoping that the summit will acknowledge and condemn the unconstitutional attempt to overthrow a legitimate government in South Sudan and to also endorse the ongoing mediation efforts by IGAD to settle the dispute,” he said.

South Sudan has been gripped by conflicts since mid-last month which has killed an estimated 5,000 people and displaced 50,000 others, according to Giir Thiik.

The South Sudan official said the conflict had had some impact on oil production in the country as some of the oil workers had been evacuated to safe places.

Two of the country’s three major oil producing states had been badly affected by the conflict, he said, adding the humanitarian situation had also reached dire levels in some of the areas.

The official, however, expressed hope that provision of basic necessities for the affected people would improve vastly now that a ceasefire had been signed by the warring parties.

The official revealed that President Kii Mayardit would not be attending this week’s African Heads of State and Government summit in Ethiopia because he had “other commitments.”