The Embassy of Belgium in Uganda has expressed its admiration for the work done by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in war-hit South Sudan.
This happened during a visit to the young African nation by a team from the Embassy as a follow up on “the political, humanitarian and economic situation in the country.” The team was led by Deputy Head of Mission, Erwin De Wandel in what they described as “fruitful mission.”
“In addition to the contacts with the South-Sudanese authorities, foreign diplomatic missions, civil societies organizations, EU delegation and UN representatives in Juba, the Embassy had a chance to experience the humanitarian situation first hand by embarking on a joint field visit with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC),” the statement posted on the embassy’s Facebook page reads in part.
The statement adds, “ICRC is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and to provide them with assistance. The team was very impressed with ICRCs professionalism and hard work when visiting their medical structure for war wounded people in Ganyiel and the Physical Rehabilitation Program (PRP) center and the Central Prison in Rumbek. It is clear that the circumstances in which ICRC and other humanitarian organizations work are very challenging.”
South Sudan became independent in 2011. It has been wracked by civil war, which has seen ethnic cleansing and numerous atrocities, since 2013.
It began when President Salva Kiir fired his deputy Riek Machar, accusing him of planning a coup – an allegation he denied.
President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Rieck Machar signed a peace deal in August.
The agreement stated that Mr Machar will return to government as one of five vice-presidents.
The embassy’s Program Officer, Tine Deschacht, together with the new Defense Attaché, Lt.-Col. Cedric Billiet, and his Deputy, Christophe Schapdryver were part of the team that visited South Sudan.
During the visit, the team met with Belgians living in South Sudan and it was the first introduction of to the country for the Defense Attaché and his Deputy who are both based in Kigali, Rwanda.