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South Sudan says protection force does not undermine sovereignty

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The UNPOL and Military components of the UNMISS worked tirelessly to ensure the protection of civilians and the UN staff during the recent fighting that swept through Juba 11 July 2016 (UNMISS PHOTO)

September 5, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudan government has downplayed concerns from among senior party and government officials that deployment of protection force from countries in the region as authorized by the United Nations Security Council would undermine national sovereignty.

Officials loyal to President Salva Kiir said they only accepted the deployment in principle, but which details are yet to be agreed upon with the United Nations.

“What the government has done was the reiteration of commitment to implementing peace and to confirm in principle the acceptance of the protection force. But this does not mean this force will be deployed without the consent of the government. The communiqué was very clear. The government will have a role to play in discussing technical matters,” said cabinet affairs minister, Martin Elia Lomuro.

Minister Lomuro, who attempted to allay fears of the pro-government supporters opposed to the deployment of protection force, however said international support to implement peace for the country to be stable was very important part in regional security.

"What is important as the people of South Sudan, regardless of the ruling party in the country, is that we must always have a unique and common goal, which is to maintain peace and stability. President Salva Kiir is up to the task. He wants peace to prevail so that the country can move forward,” he said.

He explained that he is "certain" that all parties interested in maintaining peace in the country "will assist in one way or another" to pursue that goal.

"All parties will work hand in hand, taking into account that peace and stability in the country represent the maximum interest for all relevant parties,” he said.

But while the cabinet affairs minister confirmed the acceptance of the deployment of the regional protection force, other officials claimed that the government did not agree with the United Nations Security Council’s visiting officials to deploy foreign forces without prior consent and agreement on details.

They argued that the government on Sunday in a communiqué it signed with the UN Security Council only “consented" but did not "accept" the deployment of the force.

The "consent" which the government has given, according to opponents of the deployment of the protection force, means that it has agreed in principle to the deployment of foreign troops but not necessarily acceptance unconditionally.

The objective, they argued, was to enable further discussions to take place between the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the army, and other stakeholders to work out the modalities.

The latest development comes amid fierce internal criticism after it appeared the government buckled under the UN Security Council’s pressure during their three days of visit to Juba.

Before succumbing to the pressure to accept the deployment of forces, President Kiir earlier repeatedly said he would not allow a single additional foreign troop to deploy in South Sudan.

However, after meeting the delegation from the Security Council on Sunday, the government announced that it has accepted the deployment of 4,000 troops to “protect the people of South Sudan”, pending confirmation of its details.

(ST)

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  • 6 September 2016 06:24, by Malakal county Simon

    Hahah!!!! What a confused government led by a blind man......

    repondre message

  • 6 September 2016 07:23, by lino

    Protection vs intervention and now consent vs acceptance. Any way the will be external forces coming to JUBA!
    I thought Government will stick with No single army will touch SS gound!!!

    repondre message

    • 6 September 2016 22:42, by Mr Point

      President Salva Kiir is a skillful and wise leader, not the incompetent fool you think.

      When he said he will not accept even a single soldier, and he did, http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article59615. Then obviously he really meant not more than 4,000.

      What do you think of his leadership?

      repondre message

  • 7 September 2016 03:09, by Augustino

    For those who are blind in this situation, I can tell you that the government is working with other parties who have also concern over the country issues, so President Kiir is leader of people and he can listen to them. a consent over deployment of 4000 foreign troops is for the interest of peace and he is longing for peace in the country. I appreciate his decision bse it is inline the agreement.

    repondre message

    • 7 September 2016 09:11, by Mr Point

      Kiir wants peace....?
      Why then did he start a civil war in December 2013...?
      It was because he was afraid of being replaced as SPLM leader after an election, a vote.
      Why has Kiir refused to follow the laws of the Constitution? He signed it, and swore to uphold it. He did the same with the ARCISS agreement.
      He acts without responsibility or accountability.

      repondre message

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