21 September 2018

South Sudan: Soldier On Trial for Shooting UN Peakeeper

Khartoum — THE South Sudanese soldier who shot and wounded a United Nations (UN) peacekeeper last weekend has been hauled before a military court.

David Shearer, head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), confirmed the disciplinary proceedings against the radical soldier.

The military man shot at the peacekeeper, a Nepalese national, while the latter had been travelling with a convoy to collect water.

The peacekeeper, Shearer added, was recovering at a hospital in the capital Juba.

"The authorities have assured UNMISS that the shooting was an isolated incident," the UN envoy said.

The targeting of UN peacekeepers in South Sudan is a result of insecurity in the country, which is still ongoing despite the signing of a revitalised peace agreement a week ago.

While the peace accord is an important step to rediscovering peace, there is still a lack of trust between the warring factions.

The national army is loyal to the government of President Salva Kiir but other forces are loyal to main political opposition leader, former Vice-President, Riek Machar.

"Those who signed the agreement have, in the past, been former friends but have also been former foes. From my discussions with them, suspicion is still quite widespread. A lot of work needs to be done to encourage trust between the parties," Shearer said.

More than 60 peacekeepers have been killed in South Sudan since the deployment of UNMISS in 2011.

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