21 January 2014

South Sudan: Govt Warns UN Against Meddling in Internal Affairs

Photo: UN
The bodies of two UN peacekeepers killed in action (file photo).

Juba — South Sudan said Tuesday it would not tolerate behaviours or any act attempting to directly or indirectly subordinate authority of the president and the country to the United Nations.

On Monday, President Salva Kiir, in unprecedented attack against the United Nations wondered if the international organisation wants to govern his country. More, a senior government official went further when he told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday they reject any UN interference in their country.

"Let it be known that United Nations is not a government within a government nor is it a parallel government. It is simply an organisation of the member states to which we are a party", warned the top level official who requested anonymity.

He underlined the South Sudanese government accepted the establishment of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) because they will help the new country with technical advice and support.

He however said they realised that the UN mission wants to behave like a government of a sovereign state.

"This behaviour is unacceptable. And as the government, we will not accept any entity wanting to meddle in our affairs," he stressed.

Rebels inside UN compounds

The official claimed UNMISS was allowing people with guns to enter their protection sites in different places without questioning. He claimed the government has evidences that the mission allowed rebel forces to enter their camps with weapons after being defeated by the governments and refused disarmament.

"We have documentary evidences which show that United Nations allowed rebel forces to enter their camps when they are defeated by our forces. In some places they used UN vehicles and weapons which we have captured and the United Nations mission here did not make any complaint that some of their weapons or vehicles were captured or their premises have been accessed by the rebels

"This is unacceptable. The UN must try to show neutrality instead of taking side," the official claimed.

On 24 December 2014, the UN Security Council increased temporarily the number of peacekeepers deployed in South Sudan to 13823 military and police personnel. The decision was justified by the need to protect civilians and prevent further atrocities after reports about ethnic violence in Juba and Bor.

Frustrated by the conflict, Washington instigated to the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon to request the increase of peacekeepers hoping it would at least lead to protect civilians and monitor a truce when a deal is reached by the warring parties in South Sudan.

The additional 6523 peacekeepers are transferred from UN missions Abyei, Darfur, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia.

Investigate UNMISS

Suzanne Jambo, SPLM secretary for external relations said the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon should establish an independent committee free from UNMISS representatives in the country to investigate allegations being made.

Jambo argued that South Sudanese government should be allowed by the UNMISS to enter its premises to search for weapons among those purportedly seeking shelter in the camps.

"The UN should allow the government to search for guns among those seeking shelter in the camps. How on earth can anyone explain to us, South Sudanese, that some armed soldiers who defected from the SPLA and entered into the any UNMISS camp with guns and military uniform yet the UNMISS says it is protecting civilians," asked Jambo.

The SPLM official pointed out that the president the duty to protect the other unarmed civilians who are present in the said UN camps too.

President Kiir "has every right to ask why has UNMISS kept silent on or has not strongly protested on the use of their vehicles by the rebels", she further said.

(ST)

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