Home | News    Sunday 23 December 2012

Jonglei official denies SPLA shot down UN helicopter

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December 22, 2012 (BOR) - The commissioner of Pibor, Joshua Konyi, claims that the helicopter shot down on Saturday in Jonglei was supporting rebels in the area and denied claims that it was downed by the South Sudan army (SPLA).

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UN peacekeepers in South Sudan with one of their helicopters (UNMISS)

Spokesperson for the SPLA, Philip Aguer confirmed that the helicopter was shot down on Friday by the SPLA, claiming that the army mistook it for an “enemy plane supplying [rebel leader] Yau Yau with weapons."

The UN has announced that the accident, in which all four Russian crew members died, "constituted a grave violation of the Status of Forces Agreement of August 8, 2011 and jeopardized the UNMISS [UN Mission in South Sudan] operations".

According to Konyi "the helicopter landed in the rebel area and five minutes after it took off, it crashed near our SPLA front line."

He also claimed that he contacted UNMISS authorities in Pibor county and Likuangole payam [district], where the incident allegedly took place, “but they said they had no message about the presence of an UNMISS helicopter in the area,” this led them to believe that the aircraft belonged to Yau Yau.

Aguer on Friday stated that UNMISS did not acknowledge the presence of the aircraft, which was on a reconnaissance mission in the area, prior to the incident.

Konyi said that they have not yet visited the site of the incident as it is near the battlefield.

The Jonglei state governor, Kuol Manyang declined to confirm or deny to Sudan Tribune whether or not the SPLA shot down the UN helicopter.

UN deputy spokesperson Edurado del Buey said the SPLA informed UNMISS "that it has shot down the helicopter in the Likuangole area in Jonglei state."

Aguer repeated on South Sudan TV on Saturday, "our forces on the ground in Likuangole contacted office of the United Nations Mission in Pibor to inquire whether they have information about the movement of any aircraft to the area but they were told ’no’."

He also claimed they also contacted UN offices in Bor and Juba but they were given the same information; that they were not aware of any movement, "so our forces on the ground, considering that the government of Sudan had in the past used white planes to supply ammunition and other military support to rebels in Jonglei, concluded that the government of Sudan was supplying the rebels of David Yau Yau."

Aguer said that proof of a such actions by Khartoum had been found, when a plane ferrying ammunition and weapons from Sudan to the late late rebel, George Athor was captured in Paloch in 2011.  

However, the minister of information and broadcasting service who also serves as the official government spokesperson, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, said the government regrets the shooting and has sent condolences to the government of Russia; the headquarters of the UN in New York; and UNMISS office in South Sudan.

He said his government is willing to cooperate with the UN teams to investigate circumstance which led to the shooting of the aircraft. 

(ST)

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  • 23 December 2012 07:30, by George Bol

    South Sudan is a nation; therefore, they much be told if there is some activity in the suspected area. Operating in the rebel area without the knowledge of the GOSS and the SPLA in the front line is not the SOUTH FAULT. SPLM/South must stand firm that they were not told. The South has nothing to worry about this.

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    • 23 December 2012 07:42, by Dinkawarrior

      They’re not Russian but Wolves in sheep’s closes! God is always great and usually on our side, there is no doubt that khartoum is still playing a dirty game against our country!

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    • 23 December 2012 07:57, by Dinkawarrior

      If your not working as a UN representative then you need to shut your nasty mouth against South Sudan. Let the Russian-UN tell the world why they’re operating in the rebels areas without knowledge from the RoSS. I believed God will punish Russian-UN for their misbehaviors.
      Thanks to our gallant forces for their watchful!!!!!!!!!

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      • 23 December 2012 11:03, by Ahmed Chol

        Aguer Panyang is not fit to be SPLA spoke person. Why? He is kind of tell all truth person. That is not good for the government. There is no truth in this world. S. Sudan is supposed demand apology from UN not to apologized to UN. Anybody that is coming out of the shadow claiming the ownership of that helicopter should pay damages to S. Sudan. SPLA was suppose to keep quiet

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  • 23 December 2012 07:37, by Jalaby

    Well, Joshua Konyi is saying something while Philip Auger is saying something different but here is the thing: "If the two thieves appeared differed then the truth will come out!"
    No doubt thieves had shot down the helicopter, let them confront with UN and international community now!
    I think UN will stop feeding them because they’re bad guys and they’ll die of hunger!

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  • 23 December 2012 08:23, by Jalaby

    Frankly speaking, I tried my best to resolve this puzzle and find out the logical reason that can answer my question:Why SPLA shot down this UN helicopter?! I tried to find out the link between cattle raiding in Unity (not in Jongeli) and shooting down this UN helicopter but I really became sick and tired of thinking about it!

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    • 23 December 2012 08:34, by Jalaby

      I even used Einstein Relativity Theory in attempt for solving this puzzle and find a meaning full reason connecting both together but Relativity Theory made it even worse to me and showed me another output which is the recent killing of Fartit (Balanda) ethnic group in Wau!
      There is no any real link between these 3 dimensions at all!
      I really can’t solve this puzzle, I gave up!

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      • 23 December 2012 09:04, by mohamed mahgoub

        J. Its nt a puzzle if u r realy northern S as u claiming which I doubt,though the NCP mongers the same level of stupidity,the Russian while still UN workers been paid by NCP to ferry supplies to the SS rebels,they been doing always in Darfur ,every know when they use their choppers to transport the govnt soldiers there

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    • 23 December 2012 18:21, by bakuluk

      that is lunatic question, use your head and your judgment, where Un helicopter come from? and why did it go to county where there is rebel? you jalaby and Northern sudan you are making racism,use politic term.don’t use kharan cunning skill.

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  • 23 December 2012 17:28, by salah

    What is very sad and disheartening here is no one has commented about the bravery and dedication of these wonderful Russian pilots who put themselves in harm’s way to help the people of South Sudan when they needed help the most. All I hear here is war mongering, stupid, low, idiotic comments from some people with hearts filled with hatred and darkness.

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  • 23 December 2012 17:33, by salah

    Not even a single official of the SSG would acknowledge their bravery and sacrifice, provide an apology and comforts their families. May the four incredibly wonderful Russian pilots rest in eternal peace and may their loved ones find the courage to remember their beautiful smiles and laughter. The world owes them so much.

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    • 24 December 2012 04:32, by ngadodo

      Salah Please, you’re the one who can said that, Dinkas normally they’ are not having personality or sympathy towards others human being how come going to do that, their daily bases having bloods in they’re hands. So doesn’t know how to behave behaviours properly doesn’t have feeling of human connection.
      Merry Christmas to you

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      • 24 December 2012 04:34, by ngadodo

        Salah Please, you’re the one who can said that, Dinkas normally they’ are not having personality or sympathy towards others human being how come going to do that, their daily bases having bloods in they’re hands. So doesn’t know how to behaviours properly doesn’t have feeling of human connection.
        Merry Christmas to you

        repondre message

      • 24 December 2012 04:35, by ngadodo

        Salah Please, you’re the one who can said that, Dinkas normally they’ are not having personality or sympathy towards others human being how come going to do that, their daily bases having bloods in they’re hands. So doesn’t know how to behaviours properly doesn’t have feeling of human connection.
        Merry Christmas to you

        repondre message

        • 24 December 2012 06:19, by salah

          Dear Ngadodo, Merry Christmas to you and a very happy new year. Thank you for the kind words. I hope next year will be much better for South Sudan. It is very difficult to think about those four families in Russia and what they are going through right now. Thank you again and God bless you.

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  • 23 December 2012 17:44, by salah

    South Sudan Government has failed miserably in handling the human side of this tragedy, just like their failures in everything.

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  • 23 December 2012 23:21, by Pinyin Gatkuoth

    Please Dinkas don’t talk like blinds,you did it and U deny it again. the killed of four Russia pilot it will not be like killing of civilian in Akobo county and wua.Yau Yau rebel have no Helicopter written UN and UN is for All people in the world

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  • 24 December 2012 06:41, by Mapuor

    Mr commissioner should have kept quite and wait for the final findings since Aguer and Marial Benjamin who are both from Jonglei State confessed that the UN Helicopter was shot down by their tribal forces operating in the area as SPLA.Lekuangle according to Mr commissioner is under full rebel control and investigation would be problematic.

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  • 6 March 2013 07:34, by sabrinabarron

    According to Konyi "the helicopter landed in the rebel area and five minutes after it took off, it crashed near our SPLA front line."
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  • 3 April 2013 11:34, by stefan

    Aguer Panyang is not fit to be SPLA spoke person. Why? He is kind of tell all truth person. That is not good for the government. There is no truth in this world. S. Sudan is supposed demand apology from Atomizer Joyetech
    UN not to apologized to UN. Anybody that is coming out of the shadow claiming the ownership of that h

    repondre message

  • 14 June 2013 14:53, by smithcurt

    Heads Up We simply love your awesome website and please keep it on
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