U.N. envoy: Conflict plagues S. Sudan

Feb. 16, 2013 at 11:50 AM

JUBA, South Sudan, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Tension with Sudan and internal conflict are hampering the new nation of South Sudan, a U.N. envoy says.

Hilde Johnson, the special representative of the Secretary-General, and head of the U.N. mission to South Sudan, UNMISS, Friday outlined the work being done to help resolve the conflicts.

"Virtually all energy has been 'sucked into' the relationship with Sudan. The tensions and delays in the process have prevented South Sudan from focusing on building their new nation," she said.

Cattle raids have also plagued the country, Johnson said. In Walgak, more than 100 people were killed in a recent raid. A U.N. team is gathering information on the clash and working to recover stolen cattle and women and children kidnapped by the raiders.

"Protection of civilians remains central to South Sudan's stability and, thus, a core priority of UNMISS mandate," Johnson said.

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