South Sudan has faced "a tough year" says top UN envoy

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Hilde Johnson

South Sudan has gone through a tough year since it became independent from Sudan, according to the head of the UN Mission in the country, Hilde Johnson.

Ms. Johnson told UN Radio on Friday that there have been positive developments in the new African country.

She said core legislation for a democratic country has been put in place, the transformation of the police is under way and there is a strong national ownership of a new programme to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate former combatants.

"However, despite these areas of progress, it has been a very tough year in many ways where a lot of the energy has been sucked into the Sudan-South Sudan relationship. We have also seen a disturbing trend with the recent violence and incidences in several areas of the country, most recently with an attack in Jonglei that left a number of people dead and where we also are worried about potential retaliation."

Ms Johnson said these are worrying trends that show the need for an operational peacekeeping force in South Sudan.

She said the UN Mission in South Sudan is helping the new country including by developing an advance early warning tool for the government to be able to prepare for and respond to hot spots.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'07"

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