Did South Sudan snub the UNSC delegation?

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A delegation of United Nations Security Council diplomats visited South Sudan from Friday to Sunday meeting with officials and visiting UN protection sites.

The delegation issued a joint position statement at the end of the visit with the South Sudanese government – but there was some evident tension between the foreign delegation and the South Sudanese authorities throughout the visit.

US Ambassador Samantha Power and Senegal Ambassador Fodé Seck jointly led the delegation of the UN Security Council, which is a body of representatives of fifteen countries based in the United Nations that make crucial decisions on peacekeeping, sanctions, and other security measures across the world.

Power herself is known to be a close confidante of US President Barack Obama. Yet in spite of the stature of the UN delegation, it was met by a fairly modest reception that was not attended by any constitutional post holders.

The highest ranking South Sudanese official to receive the delegation upon its arrival in Juba on Friday, 2 September was Abdoun Agao, a civil servant who is secretary-general of the government. Joseph Ayok, an undersecretary at the foreign ministry, was also present to receive the diplomats of the 15 UNSC countries. No ministers or deputy ministers received the delegation.

The diplomats also appeared carrying their own handbags and carry-on luggage after de-boarding from their aircraft, even as they greeted the junior officials who had gathered to receive them.

Also noteworthy was the absence of the president, first vice president and vice president from a meeting held by the UNSC delegation with the Council of Ministers on Saturday.

The delegation later met with Kiir and his deputies on Sunday shortly before their departure.

‘Insider’ is a series of reports, factboxes and tip sheets on the political situation in South Sudan.

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