South Sudan: Hope in "short supply" four years after independence

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A group of women and children are sheltered under a tree in Al Salam camp for Internally Displaced Person. UN File Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

Hope is in short supply in South Sudan four years after independence, according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

He said instead of progress and development, the world's newest nation is facing "unconscionable levels of violence", widespread displacement and food insecurity.

South Sudan has been ravaged by a political crisis which began in December 2013.

As a result, more than two million people have fled their homes while 150,000 have sought refuge at UN facilities.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN Secretary-General recalled the joy and hope of South Sudan's independence on 9 July 2011 which he had witnessed alongside crowds of proud citizens in the capital, Juba. 

Today, these memories are painful as he described South Sudan as a country "where hope is in short supply." 

For Mr Ban, the violence over the past 18 months shows there can never be a military solution to the conflict. 

He called on leaders, particularly President Salva Kiir and former Vice-President Riek Machar, to invest in a political solution and immediately conclude a comprehensive peace agreement.

 These leaders must also make public statements that that targeting of civilians will not be tolerated, he added. 

And he demanded that the warring parties allow humanitarian workers to access people in need. 

Dianne Penn, United Nations. 

Duration: 56″

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