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South Sudan vows not to expel UN official from Unity state

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July 15, 2015 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese government said it would not expel the United Nations coordinator in its oil-rich Unity state, saying the state administration had no constitutional mandate to expel UN officials or member of the diplomatic community.

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UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon (UN)

In a statement issued through its embassy in Washington, the government faulted Unity state cabinet’s decision to expel Mary Cummins.

According to the embassy, the foreign affairs and international cooperation ministry was currently engaged in consultations with the government of Unity state and the leadership of the UN mission (UNMISS) to ascertain facts and resolve the matter.

“The government of the Republic of South Sudan pledges to work very closely with UNMISS and relief organisation present in South Sudan to provide humanitarian relief and help bring lasting peace,” the embassy said in a statement issued 14 July, 2015.

“Moreover, those engaged in hampering the work of humanitarian workers and UNMISS, will be brought to account for their actions,” it stressed.

The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon on Monday urged South Sudanese authorities to fully cooperate with its peacekeeping mission by providing support to enable humanitarian workers deliver and have unfettered access to people.

Speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Ki moon said the world body was accommodating over 150,000 internally displaced persons, something it never designed or planned for.

“We are doing our best to provide life-saving support to them so we expect they [South Sudan authorities] should fully cooperate and provide support,” Ki moon said Monday.

The government of South Sudan’s Unity state announced on Sunday it would not allow the return of the UN state coordinator, whom they accused of overseeing a recent report that pins government forces on human rights abuses in its battles against rebels.

Over 1.6 million people, the UN says, have been displaced and more than 600,000 have fled to neighbouring countries, while 4.6 million could face severe food insecurity.

(ST)

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