Much of South Sudan has enjoyed improved security over the past year, but we are concerned about violence in Jonglei, including the recent attack on a UN convoy in which 12 peacekeepers and civilians died. We are supporting community reconciliation efforts and urging the Government to prioritise the protection of civilians.
I thank the Minister for that answer. Have the Government been able to form any reliable assessment of recent events in Eastern Equatoria, particularly the alleged killings by the army in Lorema hospital? Obviously those alleged events follow the recent killing of members of the governor’s bodyguard, but there are divergent accounts and allegations. Have the Government been able to give credence to any side’s version of events?
We are still trying to assess the detail of exactly what happened and to untangle the different stories emanating from that part of southern Sudan. There needs to be recognition that significant progress has been made and that a key part of finding a lasting solution to the tension between South Sudan and North Sudan is the implementation of the agreement that was announced at the United Nations General Assembly last year.
Now that South Sudan and Sudan have resolved their difficulties over oil, South Sudan has the potential to become an extremely prosperous country, but it still has very weak governance. What are Her Majesty’s Government doing to help the Government of South Sudan enhance their machinery of governance and their capacity properly to govern South Sudan?
My hon. Friend makes exactly the right point: the oil now flowing between and through South Sudan and Sudan creates the opportunity for economic stability, development and growth in the southern part of Sudan, so the Government of South Sudan will have to have additional capacity to deal with the income that will, I hope, flow into the South Sudanese exchequer. Support is provided by the Foreign Office and by the work of our colleagues at the Department for International Development. We are assisting the South Sudanese Government in building that relevant capacity.