Haley escorted from refugee camp amid protest
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley was escorted from a U.N. camp for people affected by conflict in South Sudan on Wednesday amid protests opposing that country’s president, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. Mission to the U.N.
The protests broke out after residents of the U.N. protection of civilians site became upset that they would not be able to meet with Haley because of time constraints, The Associated Press reported.
According to the AP, camp residents intended to give Haley a letter on the “current crisis” in the country, which has been locked in a civil war for almost four years. That conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead and millions more displaced.
A spokesperson for the U.N. Mission in South Sudan said Haley had received a petition from a group of displaced people during the visit.
Haley and her traveling party were escorted out of the site after Diplomatic Security agents determined the area was no longer secure, the U.S. Mission to the U.N. spokesperson said, noting that the visit was cut short by a few minutes.
But the U.N. Mission in South Sudan spokesperson said “there was no threat to the Ambassador’s safety” during the trip.
The spokesperson said that such protests are common when diplomats and other officials visit U.N. sites.
Haley departed Juba, South Sudan’s capital city, later on Wednesday and is in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Earlier on Wednesday, Haley met with President Salva Kiir. She said she told him that the U.S. was losing patience with the South Sudanese government’s efforts to end the country’s ongoing civil war.
“We have lost trust in this government and we now need to regain that trust,” Haley said in a statement released by the U.N. Mission in South Sudan. “The only way to regain that trust is through the actions of taking care of all of the people. President Kiir is the president of everyone, not just one tribe, not just one group.”
The U.S. has invested roughly $11 billion in aid in South Sudan, making it the country’s largest provider of humanitarian financial assistance.
“We are disappointed by what we are seeing. This is not what we thought we were investing in,” Haley said. “What we thought we were investing in was a free, fair society where people could be safe and South Sudan is the opposite of that.”
Haley traveled to Ethiopia on Monday, her first stop on a three-nation tour in Africa. Much of the visit is focused on the current situation in South Sudan.
–This story was updated on Oct. 26 at 8:42 a.m.