22 January 2014

South Sudan Blasts Calls for Placing Country Under UN Trusteeship

South Sudan's government and rebels on Thursday signed a ceasefire agreement, pledging to halt fighting within 24 hours and end five weeks of bitter ... ( Resource: Rebels and Government in South Sudan Sign Ceasefire )

Juba — The South Sudanese government said on Wednesday it categorically rejects calls to place the country under the trusteeship of the United Nations, arguing that such suggestions, even if genuine, undermines authority of a sovereign state.

"There is no reason to place a sovereign state under [trusteeship of] an organization. There is no justification. Already there is a strong leadership with a strong political will to properly manage the affairs of this nation, South Sudanese foreign affairs and international cooperation minister", Barnaba Marial Benjamin told Sudan Tribune Wednesday.

Minister Marial was reacting to views suggesting putting the country under the United Nations mandate until such time when it would be able to effectively and efficiently runs it affairs.

"These suggestions undermine authority of a sovereign state and no country would accept such views", he said.

The US former Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Herman Cohen said at an Op-ed on 'African Arguments' this month that the ruling Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) has no ability to govern the country particularly given the lack of infrastructure, education, private investment and institutions.

"In the Belgian Congo, the UN Security Council imposed its tutelage on the newly independent nation within a few months of independence, and the small number of educated Congolese intellectuals accepted it without complaint," Cohen wrote in his piece titled 'South Sudan should be placed under UN trusteeship to aid development of viable self-government'. '

"It would be a shame if current cease-fire talks among the South Sudanese warlords resulted in another crude arrangement to share the oil wealth among the corrupt former fighters, with the general population seeing zero benefits. The cease-fire should be followed by a major debate in the UN Security Council establishing a UN mandate over South Sudan similar to the one established for the Congo in 1960" he said.

G. Pascal Zachary, a professor at Arizona State University wrote in the New York Times (NYT) that the US "has the moral authority and the tactical resources to administer South Sudan for the multi-year period required to build a political culture that will yield stable and authentic self-determination".

Speaker of South Sudan National Legislative Assembly, Magok Rundial said much as the country cooperates with the international community, it is unjustifiable to talk about placing an independent country under United Nations.

"I think people with such views are ignorant of the international rules and regulations. South Sudan is an independent country and I have never heard before that a sovereign country should be placed under an organization. What for?", asked Rundial at Juba international Airport en route to Uganda.

The speaker, who spoke to Sudan Tribune during an exclusive interview, said he was traveling to Uganda so that he could personally congratulate the Ugandan parliamentarians for approving the deployment of their soldiers to help the government fight the rebels.

"I am going to Uganda to physically congratulate the leadership of the government of Uganda, their parliament and the Ugandan people on the approval of the deployment of their soldiers to come and help our army fight these rebels who wants to remove the democratically elected government", said Rundial.

Lual Bol Kuan, spokesperson for South Sudanese business community accused global community of double standards, claiming United Nations was collaborating with rebels than working with the legitimate government.

"These people, the people who are calling for placement of this country under the United Nations have hidden agenda. We already know this. They want our resources, especially the oil", Kuan claimed in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.

Kuan, however, called on the international community to put pressure on the rebel group to stop fighting, saying the government is ready to engage in a process of dialogue mainly aiming at implementing peace initiative of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member states.

"Our people need encouragement to engage in sincere and honest talk. We need the international community to put enough pressure on the rebel group to accept signing the ceasefire without preconditions. Our people need the United Nations in South Sudan to truly show sense of impartiality. There should be fairness in their activities and operations. They should not behave as if they are a different government inside another government", said Kuan.

Mark Nyipuoc, deputy speaker of the national legislative Assembly told Sudan Tribune said he was not surprised by the suggestions and accused some western countries of working to disintegrate the new nation based on the tribal lines allegedly to advance their interests.

"These are some of the irresponsible and provocative statements based on nothing but hatred against this government. The future of this country is in the hands of South Sudanese people. Now what is the reason these people wants a sovereign state to be placed under an organization", asked Nyipuoc without elaborating.

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