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September 21, 2023 (JUBA) – South Sudan President Salva Kiir declined a meeting with junior United States officials amid concerns over what his administration described as breach in diplomatic protocols.

Kiir had requested to meet Joe Biden at the 78th United Nation General Assembly.

But Washington, in its response, said Biden would not be available for the meeting.

The US State Department, however, said its Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee will instead be available to meet the South Sudanese leader.

However, South Sudan’s Presidential Affairs minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Kiir was unavailable for a meeting with junior officials from the US administration.

“His Excellency the president is currently engaging other leaders on a wide range of issues. He has met with the president of Gabon, the president of Mozambique, president of Ghana and continues to reach out for more meetings with those he can engage on bilateral matters, regional and global issues,” said Marial.

“Once these engagements are over, he [Kiir] will return to the country,” he added.

For his part, South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs minister, James Morgan said President Kiir’s visit to New York provided him the opportunity to meet other world leaders.

While addressing the UN General Assembly on Thursday, the South Sudanese leader appealed urged support for refugees affected by the conflict in Sudan.

He vowed to cooperate with the international community to end the conflict.

“As the country sharing a border with the Republic of Sudan, South Sudan has received thousands of Sudanese refugees and our returnees since the conflict broke out in Sudan in April 2023”, explained Kiir.

He decried the humanitarian crisis resulting from the war in neighbouring Sudan.

“This influx has overwhelmed our border communities and created a humanitarian crisis. I am appealing to the international community to avail resources to help refugees and displaced persons who crossed into South Sudan,” Kiir told world leaders.

He also informed the assembly of his administration’s plan to conduct elections to establish democracy and set up a strong system of governance in the country. - Sudan Tribune


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