March 19, 2014 (JUBA) – The head of United Nations peacekeeping department has accused the government of South Sudan of "negative campaign" towards the world body and urged the Security Council to intervene to discipline those responsible in the new country.
- Herve Ladsous the UN chief of peacekeeping operations (AFP/Federic J. Brown)
Herve Ladsous, in a briefing to the Security Council in New York on Tuesday said the government of South Sudan has resorted to harassment against peacekeepers, UN personnel, restriction of activities by the world food programme as well as organizing demonstrations against the leadership of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
"There has been a negative campaign against UNIMISS and its leadership in South Sudan which seems systematic and organized," he told the Security Council.
The latest stern warning against the new state indicates how relations between the world body and its new member have turned sour.
The top security chief accused Salva Kiir’s government of inciting dislike of the United Nations personnel using the 5 March seizure of land transport of weapons belonging to the UN contingent as a reason for the negative campaign, adding that the government also failed to cooperate in this regard.
"We offered to the government to conduct a joint investigation, to prove our good faith and provide full transparency. Unfortunately, the offer was declined," Ladsous further charged.
He also told the UN Security Council that Salva Kiir’s government has failed to release the four remaining political detainees of the ruling party, a demand by the opposition group led by Riek Machar, in accordance with the 23 January agreement signed in Addis Ababa by the two parties.
However, South Sudan’s ambassador to the UN, Francis Deng, responded, saying president Salva Kiir "was very grateful for the role played by the UN in the country," adding that the country “has nothing to gain" but would "lose everything by alienating the UN."
He blamed on "trauma" the recent negative attitude against UNMISS in South Sudan, but promised that the situation will be corrected.
"It is to the trauma, frustrations, pain and anger caused by the devastating violence that broke out on December 15, 2013, that much of the negative public outcry against UNMISS should be attributed,” he pleaded.