Southern Sudan Needs More Help To Rebuild Education, Roads, Health Care – UN Aid Chief
New York, Nov 28 2008 2:10PM
The United Nations relief chief today wrapped up a two-day visit to southern Sudan by calling on international donors to
help the region develop basic education and health-care services and quickly build up its road system as it recovers
after two decades of civil war.
John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, met President Salva Kiir and other senior officials in
the Government of Southern Sudan, which was set up as a result of the 2005 comprehensive peace agreement that ended the
north-south civil war.
Mr. Holmes and Mr. Kiir discussed the scale of the south’s continuing development needs, as well as mutual concerns
about the full implementation of the peace deal, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Mr. Holmes – who is also the UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator – also assured southern Sudanese officials of the UN’s
ongoing humanitarian support and urged donors to get behind construction and development initiatives.
Southern Sudan is lacking in basic infrastructure as a result of the prolonged civil war, and Mr. Holmes stressed that
the capacity of the Government in the region must be built up so it can take over health-care, education and other
Mr. Holmes visited Agok, home to some 30,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who fled Abyei, a town in an oil-rich
area of central Sudan that remains in contention between the north and south despite the peace accord.
During their discussions the Under-Secretary-General and Mr. Kiir also emphasized the importance of a rapid solution to
the separate conflict still engulfing the Darfur region of western Sudan.
Members of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a notorious rebel group that has waged war against Ugandan Government
forces since the mid-1980s and is accused of recruiting children to serve as soldiers or sexual slaves, have long
operated out of southern Sudan, which borders Uganda.
Mr. Holmes and Mr. Kiir strongly urged the leadership of the LRA to follow through on promises to sign a peace agreement
The UN relief chief is now in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, for meetings with Government officials, UN agencies and
non-governmental organizations (NGOs). He has already visited Darfur and neighbouring Chad on this visit.