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Estonia supports improving the humanitarian situation in the world's youngest country South Sudan

21.05.2014

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said today in Oslo at a meeting concerning the humanitarian situation in South Sudan, that Estonia supported the founding of an independent South Sudan state three years ago. “We consider this to still be the right decision today, since the aim of creating the new country was to leave conflict behind,” the Estonian Foreign Minister said. “Unfortunately, at the present time, the security situation in South Sudan has once again deteriorated. Conflict between the government and rebels has led to the spread of violence and there are already nearly one million internal refugees and hundreds of thousands of people have fled the country,” Paet said. He added that there is a great shortage of food in South Sudan.

According to Paet, Estonia has supported South Sudan since the establishment of the state in 2011 through various UN funds. “We have contributed to the activities of the UN Children's Fund UNICEF in South Sudan and supported the activities of the United Nation's High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in order to help alleviate the situation,” Paet said. “Given the current humanitarian crisis, we have decided to increase our support,” he added.

Estonia has decided to provide a further 200 000 euros through the United Nations' funds and the International Red Cross Committee to improve the situation of the people of South Sudan.

According to the Estonian Foreign Minister, unfortunately much still needs to be done in order for South Sudan to be able to independently govern their own country and control the security situation. "The prerequisites for this are functioning government agencies, a sense of social confidence and reconciliation," he added.

Paet stated that currently the main political aim is to prevent the further spread of violence and instability in the region. "The concluding of a peace agreement on May 9 in South Sudan between the President and rebel leader was an important step towards improving the situation and ending the conflict. Now it is necessary for both parties to comply with the agreement and take full responsibility for the actions of their troops," he noted.

Paet will also meet with Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende in Oslo. At the meeting, the ministers will discuss the European security situation, events in Ukraine and Estonian- Norwegian relations.


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