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UNMISS says staff members assaulted and detained in Juba

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May 21, 2014 (JUBA) – Two staff members from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) were reportedly assaulted and detained by security forces in separate incidents in the capital, Juba, in recent days.

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UNMISS peacekeepers distribute boxes of food to displaced South Sudanese people on 22 December 2013 (AFP)

Speaking in New York on Wednesday, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the mission “deplores” the alleged behaviour of members of the security forces.

“These acts are illegal and in clear violations of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which regulates relations between UNMISS and the Government of South Sudan,” he said.

The latest incidents come despite public reassurances given by president Salva Kiir after his meeting with UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon earlier this month in which he said his government was committed to working with UNMISS.

Dujarric said the mission has asked the South Sudanese government to immediately investigate the incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“It also demands that all parties ensure unhindered freedom of movement to the United Nations, and safety for its staff and humanitarian workers,” he said.

UNMISS says it remains concerned over ongoing incidents involving its staff, including assault, detention and harassment.

It says the incidents expose its personnel to serious security risks.

No further details were provided on the circumstances surrounding the assaults or whether the staff members sustained injuries.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have sought refuge at UNMISS peacekeeping bases across the country since political infighting between Kiir and former vice-president Riek Machar turned violent in mid-December last year.

The conflict has strained relations between UNMISS and the South Sudanese government, which revealed last month it was reviewing the mission’s mandate and operations, which is up for renewal in July.

In January, Kiir accused UNMISS of running a parallel government after his information minister was refused entry into its camp in Jonglei state capital because he was accompanied by armed bodyguards, although he later withdrew the comments, saying the UN remained a friend of South Sudan.

UNMISS’s credibility in the country also took a hit in March after security officers intercepted a weapons shipment in Lakes state en route to Unity state.

The incident sparked protests in Juba and calls for head Hilde Johnson to stand down amid allegations the shipments had been destined for pro-Machar rebel fighters.

UNMISS denied the claims, saying the cargo was intended for its Ghanaian peacekeeping contingent and had been mistakenly transported by road rather than air – as is its usual protocol – due to a labelling error.

UNMISS was formed in 2005 to monitor the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended over 20 years of civil war between Southern Sudanese rebels and the Khartoum government, paving the way for an independent South Sudan in 2011.

(ST)

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  • 22 May 09:41, by Tong dut

    The confused Dinka president in now havinig problems in ten state.New war in yambio for payments.
    If you failed to pay army? The gun fire at 9:40 upto 10:14 pm was for money, one month for every department.Why bang?
    South sudanese knew that bullet, you will get your payment.The last peaceful state is W. E S. out of ten, if they started? end of you man.

    repondre message

    • 22 May 11:54, by J P Puok

      What a white elephant, a laughing stock south Sudan becomes under this incompetent leadership of kiir? the guy had been misled to zeroness by his advisors right from M7 to Tilar, Abel Alier, Malong Awan. history will never forgive them for letting this country down the way it is now. how come a small country like ours could pick a bone on contention with whole world eg UN,USA,EU china and so forth

      repondre message

      • 22 May 17:45, by Mapuor

        My dear, do you know that Dinkas are fed up with Nyagats?.Your states will be curved out from Dinka states in Upper Nile and power will only be shared in Juba proportionately. Your Nyagats use to intercept Dinka liberators on their way to Ethiopia and back to war front yet you were forgiven and allowed to hold ranks that no illiterates the world over ever held. Enough is enough, never dream o

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        • 22 May 17:49, by Mapuor

          of Dinka support for ever. You were always asked to look for another Nuer not Riek but have all along been obstinate. Democracy is nothing but majority rule, so majority will always rule.You are only known in history as Jallaba militias.War of liberation was started by Kerubino Kuanyin Bol and led to victory by Gen Salva Kiir Mayardit.Why do you expect Dinkas to reward you Nyagaats.

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          • 22 May 17:53, by Mapuor

            Forget about leading the country.Numbers should convince you that leadership is a preserve of majority.Just put down your arms and join your brothers who are constantly working for their wellbeing and that of their children.

            repondre message

            • 22 May 18:18, by Bravo Nuer

              Mapuor currently we are not fighting against majority rule but illiteracy rule in the South. Salva himself (inuu) is an illiterate and as birds of the same feather flock together he has filled top govt institutions with his likes e.g. Malong Awan, Matur Chut etc and thus crippled the country with illiteracy rule. know nothing an illiterate man can do other than corrupting and stealing.

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  • 22 May 18:41, by Ito

    This is the result of what some of us have been telling you who are not Dinkas that this tribe cannot live side by side with others. If we really don’t come to this hard fact, we are definitely doom to fail. I know accepting and confronting is hard to do but it is not impossible. I am urging all nationalists to wake up and join the armed resistance led by Charismatic visionary Dr. Riek Machar Teny

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