Home | News    Thursday 13 March 2014

Norway rejects Juba’s claims over UN arms seizure

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March 12, 2014 (JUBA) - The Norwegian government on Wednesday expressed strong disappointment with the Government of South Sudan over it “unreasonable and groundless accusations” that the United Nations mission in the country was aiding a rebellion that began almost three months ago.

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An image circulated on social media reportedly showing weapons seized by Lakes state secutiry officials from UN trucks in Rumbek, on 5 March 2014

Norway is the first foreign country to comment on the row, which has seen protests mobilised in the capital and other states against the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), which has over 8,000 peacekeepers in the young nation.

After the eruption of violence in mid-December, the UN Security Council (UNSC) approved a temporary increase to 12,500 military and 1,323 police personnel and UNMISS bases are sheltering 77,000.

Relations between the government and UNMISS have been increasingly strained in recent months after president Salva Kiir accused the latter of over-stepping its mandate and acting like a “parallel government”.

But the dispute escalated last week when 11 UNMISS trucks were intercepted by South Sudanese security authorities in Lakes state carrying a weapons cargo, triggering protests in the capital, Juba.

The Ghanaian Force Commander has firmly denied claims the weapons shipment had been intended to supply rebel troops opposed to the central government.

The UN has maintained the weapons and ammunition belong to the newly arrived Ghanaian peacekeeping contingent, and had been inadvertently transported by road rather than by air after a labelling error. But this has not stopped mounting criticism of the mission by South Sudanese on social media, with Hilde Johnson, the mission’s Norwegian head, often being singled out.

Norway’s foreign minister, Børge Brende, released a statement on Wednesday, describing the “unacceptable” accusations as “unreasonable and groundless”.

“The UN represents the entire international community in its efforts to support South Sudan on the path towards peace, reconciliation and economic and social development,” the minister said.

“Both before and since South Sudan became independent in 2011, the UN has been the most important international partner for the people of the country. The recent accusations against the UN are therefore unacceptable, and are undermining the relationship of trust between the authorities and the international community. Norway has full confidence in UNMISS and the head of mission, Hilde Frafjord Johnson,” Brende said in the statement.

The UN has refuted claims that it has smuggled weapons to the insurgents but has expressed regret that the UN guidelines for the transportation of weapons were not correctly followed.

“It is now important to restore a relationship of trust between the UN and the authorities in South Sudan. I expect the Government of South Sudan and president Salva Kiir to cooperate fully with the UN in resolving the humanitarian, security and political challenges the country is facing,” said Brende.

UN PROBE TEAM ARRIVES

Meanwhile, the UN announced on Wednesday that its high-level delegation from New York had arrived in the country to conduct an investigation regarding last week’s incident involving the transportation of weapons and ammunition by road to Bentiu.

This equipment, it reiterated in a statement, belonged to its Ghanaian contingent of peacekeepers and been "mistakenly" been put on a road convoy.

"The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is looking forward to being able to conduct this investigation in full transparency and collaboration with the authorities of South Sudan, and allow the Mission to clarify the circumstances of this unfortunate incident, ensure that it will not happen again, and defuse any misunderstanding between the United Nations and the Government of South Sudan," partly reads the statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

The world body also reiterated its commitment to South Sudan and its people, stressing that its mission had not and would never take sides in the country’s conflict.

"Impartiality is a core principle of the United Nations which is guiding all the operations of the mission," it said.

(ST)

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  • 13 March 06:05, by Sir King

    I have been telling you that government of Mad man, President Kiir will never succeed in this claim. You know when you are drowning, you just catch any object around which is the worst mistake Salva Kiir and James Wani are doing now. How can this nasty nation point its finger to west at this early hours. Please you are gone, but what I hate is that Riek Should not come a president......

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    • 13 March 06:10, by Sir King

      - Riek is another worse killer like Salva Kiir, we beg the world to get rid of both and give us neutral body to lead South Sudan out of crises.
      People of coup attempt have stuck and their stuck brain will never move anymore. Ha! God should help South Sudan out. How can Salva Kiir appoint another yes man, James Wani as deputy to add his filthy tongue in this worse situation to the extent.

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      • 13 March 06:13, by Sir King

        - I wish President Kiir should appoint me his advisor so that I tell him the truth. He has to leave as early as it is to avoid endangering his own life. We don’t want both of them to spoil our country. I have been telling African Union that South Sudan is bigger than both, Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek please, help dispose them out. The proposal of INTERIM GOVERNMENT WITHOUT BOTH IS HIGHLY ACCEPTED!

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        • 13 March 06:17, by Sir King

          - Salva Kiir can never be a good leader eventhough you take him back to God to mould him again. Please let him go and die at his own house and leave South Sudanese to decide for their own future. Killing people like grasshopers is no good. Where is the world body now? Salva Kiir is killing and Riek is also killing, what a world!

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          • 13 March 06:19, by Sir King

            - Finally UN, UN, UN is the live of South Sudan. Without UN, THERE WOULD BE NO South Sudan existing today. YES to UN and No to harsh government of Salva Kiir and harsh rebel of Dr. Riek Machar. Let them go!

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      • 13 March 07:04, by Ayom Ayom

        UNMISS Boss in South Sudan, she is a Norwegian citizen and the people of Norway are not happy because, the performance or mistakes create by one citizen can affect the whole nation.

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        • 13 March 07:18, by Mi diit

          Juba will always lose every meaningful diplomacy because of its recklessness. Dr. Hilde Johnson did her very best during the liberation struggle to convince her country to support the SPLM/A. Now those thieves and dictators in Juba don’t expect her to give them a friendly advice against their evils. Shame on Salva Kiir...

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          • 13 March 07:46, by Mi diit

            Sir King,
            Well, another bad news for you is that we will not allow another scavenger from the so-called third party to become the president. It is either Kiir or Riek that you hate. Is that clear? You don’t have power to change Juba, don’t waste time.

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            • 13 March 07:50, by Mi diit

              You as the so-called third party supporters are playing a negative role, believing that the world will give you the presidency in a golden plate. That will NEVER happen. Riek has so many supporters in the international community who want him to replace Kiir. So, your negative role is trying to weaken Riek who is the only powerful politician to check on Kiir.

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              • 13 March 13:28, by Projector

                Mi Diit!! Is your Machar going to rule International Community or South Sudanese? You don’t know what you are talking about. We, civilized South Sudanese don’t need either Kiir or Machar come 2015 but Kiir can finish his term even if you are burning up with your Former ministers and Nuer gangs. I know it is painful to take the defeat but "Machar will never and never rule South Sudan".

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            • 13 March 09:15, by Kiir

              Norway was the first Country stood with people of South Sudan during 21 year in the bush. Shame on Salva Kiir for spoiling our good relations with people of Norway.

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              • 13 March 13:01, by Gunkills

                @kiir, if they stood with us in the bush can we allow them to mockery us? Do you think if they know these weapons were transported to rebels they will accept it no, they will not for seek of their country relations. It is we that don’t know to put interest of nation first although you have problem with your brother. Norway has 8,000 here and the head of UNMISS is Norwegian, think twice man!

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    • 13 March 06:27, by mathem jech amer

      So called Sir King
      What do you know about MOU signed bewteen UN & GOSS?Or is it just a matter to write and criticize?MOU says UNMISS weapons will be flown by air to respective locations, if they made mistake as they say by transporting them by road, do you think security personnel will leave them going unattended?In your rebels areas,if WFP fill truck with guns & label food,will you accept to pass

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      • 13 March 06:34, by Sir King

        Mathem Jech Amer,
        You are like your leader, I know, MOU was not sign that way, only UN decided to be flying their ammunition to their operational areas however if the felt that flying them will take little bit long time for all to reach the destination, they better use trucks to reach at once. Just stop accusing for nothing. I know if you are weak, you need to accuse others for your weakness

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        • 13 March 07:36, by mathem jech amer

          By the way we are happy for this war to continue for another five years,reduction of Nuer numbers will take place and they will never be problematic again to South Sudanese people if their number is decrease to only 40%.We wish all Nuers the best in fighting for their freedom of leadership & to fulfil devil wishes.

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    • 13 March 09:48, by Johndumo14

      These people-MUST BE HANGED LIKE SADAM HUSSEN OF ERAQ!!
      Pagan Amum Okiech, former SPLM secretary-general, Oyai Deng Ajak, former army chief-of-staff, Majak D’Agoot, former deputy defence minister and diplomat Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth.
      How many people died because of these men?How much Money lost,cattle,houses,trucks,cars ,motor cycles,most of s.sudanese are very poor in those areas distroyed by rebels

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  • 13 March 06:06, by omoni jr.

    Thanks Norway.
    The regime which killed his own people need to be fought by all means and all the resource available at the cost. This gov’t is NO longer legitimate or people’s government as we thought before,The regime attacked everything around including UN which officially signed the deal that contains mandate and protocol that define the mandate of UN.

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    • 13 March 07:44, by mathem jech amer

      Sir King & likes
      Jan Pronk was stronger than Hilde Johnson and he was kicked out by Khartoum in 2007,so take example.

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  • 13 March 06:27, by Ankh

    It was so embarrassing seeing wani igga, VICE PRESIDENT threaten to personally pick up arms against the UNMISS saying they make him feel young he could go to the bush. Shameful

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    • 13 March 06:44, by Gangura

      Me I do tell my fellow writors on the forum that, UNMISS is one body so that issue was just asimply case which Kirr and his corrupt cabinet could have not take like subject, what is wrong with it if UN is transporting weapons to the Ghanian forces, anyway Kirr is just Kirr

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  • 13 March 09:56, by Akol Liai Mager

    Can Norway have a gut to tell South Sudanese people what the Hell Helde Johnson’s Personnel-Landmines aims were for? Is it in UNMISS-South Sudan agreement that UNMISS mines the land of South Sudan? I think UNMISS is just waiting for a strong leader to tell them to respect South Sudanese people or pack up and leave.

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    • 13 March 10:02, by Akol Liai Mager

      Being big, democratised, UN or World’s Superpower does not permit a power or right to intimidate other countries. So, being Russia, Europe or United States is not crediting anything as this Planet (Earth) ought to be lived by both small, big, developed and under-developed nations. UN/UNMISS and SPLM are just the two faces of the same coin.

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  • 13 March 10:36, by Ajongtar

    I told yuo yestaday that, Salva Kiir and Mrs Hilda Johnson were friends long time ago, even kiir knew what Hilda did to the new Sudan Govenment during the strugle.
    So you Dinka Warab dont rush in to conclusions before the investigation is done.
    The trught will be found soon, but my advice goes to kiir about his Press secretary, the guy is overstepping his duties, Be carefull mr president of Aten

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  • 13 March 11:37, by Uncle J

    Only a man that never sit in class to learn can make a statement like what the foreign minister for Norway just made. Whether they want it or not, Hilde Johnson must go away from South Sudan because is the very bitch contributing massive disaster in that country crisis. How could that minister condemn S. Sudan govt. when there are solid evidences to prove?
    Silly Silly is that minister!!!

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  • 13 March 11:56, by Uncle J

    Such statement from Norway government official is very sensitive to people of South Sudan. This can easily put Ms Hilde Johnson under too much risk if she ever resist staying for UNMISS in S. Sudan. For the death of over 10,000 people in the hands of rebel leader and his girlfriend Hilde Johnson, it will be worthy for South Sudan’s citizens to take action similar to what Lybians did

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  • 13 March 18:45, by Suleiman

    I realy get confuse that, stupid dika are complaining of UN to be out from South Sudan and some also complain for UN to help them.
    Are you realy mat?
    Shame on stupid Cavanism

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