March 11, 2014 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s vice-president, James Wani Igga has accused western governments of “attaching strings” to foreign aid allegedly to undermine recipient countries.
- James Wani Igga delivers a speech at the meeting of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City – September 26, 2013 (UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz)
His remarks came as hundreds of youth allied to South Sudan’s ruling party (SPLM) protested over last week’s seizure of weapons in United Nations trucks en-route to Unity state.
Igga accused the world body of practicing colonialism allegedly with the intention to run affairs of the new nation, vowing never to relent in the fight against colonialism.
“If it is a colonial system we need to fight, then that is good because I am old. It makes young again and will go into the bush fight,” the vice-president said amidst applause.
The protestors, holding placards while chanting anti-UN songs, repeatedly demanded the resignation of Hilde Johnson, the Special Representative of the Secretary General in the country. Others accused her of allegedly collaborating with the country’s rebels.
The vice-president, however, wondered why western countrie failed to accept what he claimed was an attempted coup aimed at overthrowing an elected government.
“No one knows why they [western governments] failed to accept that the government foiled attempt to remove the democratically leadership,” stressed Igga.
“This is the question which our people have been asking and we are convinced that there is a hidden agenda," he added.
Daniel Awet Akot, a senior ruling party official, said it was unacceptable for some countries to undermine the legitimacy of a democratically-elected government.
“Let us continue to exert our energy in fostering unity, peace, development and equality of opportunity for all our people. Rather than amplify our differences, lets us find strength in diversity, guided by firm conviction that we are the sole guardians of our sovereignty,” he said.
A former deputy speaker of the country’s Parliament, Akot urged youth and leaders to preach national healing and reconciliation, not hate and violence among citizens.
“Let us, therefore in unison say no to violence in all its manifestations,” he appealed.
The deputy foreign affairs minister, Peter Bashir Gbandi said the country’s foreign policy mainly focuses on safeguarding its independence, sovereignty and natural resources.
“Our foreign policy continues to be anchored on the need to safeguard our hard won independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said, commending the security and defence forces for continuously guaranteeing peace and tranquility in the country.
NO INTERIM GOVERNMENT
Meanwhile, the vice president said his government would not heed to the mediator’s proposals for formation of interim government to end weeks of conflict in the country.
“They [mediators] want our government dissolved, a new neutral president installed or placing the country under trusteeship,” said Igga, in response to the proposal tabled by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) regional leaders.