Home | News    Wednesday 7 September 2016

South Sudan sets new conditions after accepting deployment of protection force


UN peacekeeper keeps watch inside a Protection of Civilians sites, in Juba as a UN Security Council delegation meets with the IDPs on 3 September 2016 (UNMISS Photo)

September 6, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudanese government under the leadership of President Salva Kiir has come out with contradicting statements less one day after reaching a consensus with the members of the United Nations Security Council to deploy a protection force from countries in the region. The government has instead said it would only accept such deployment if troops contributing countries would not be from the regional countries with which it shares immediate borders.

Presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny, said in a statement that it was made clear during the meeting with the delegation of the United Nations Security Council that the South Sudanese government would not accept deployment of troops from countries sharing immediate borders with the young nation “because they have interests in the country.”

“The Security Council agreed to take into consideration the position of the Government of South Sudan that the troops contributing countries must be countries other than our immediate neighbours, meaning the six bordering countries to South Sudan must not be part of troops contributing countries. And this came on the line that some of our neighbouring countries have already developed conflicting interests,” said Ateny.

Both Uganda, which is allied to President Kiir’s government and fought on its side for two years, and Sudan, which is accused of supporting Riek Machar’s faction, had earlier declared that they would not be part of the troops contributing countries. However, Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and any other country in the region would contribute troops.

It was not clear which other country in the region the government did not like and was targeting. The government did not also bring up the matter as a concern during the talks with the United Nations Security Council members in Juba who discussed the deployment with President Kiir.

Ateny however explained that the circumstance under which the government made a compromise was because of interest of forging a better working relationship with the United Nations Security Council and larger international community and in compliance with its earlier commitment during the IGAD Extraordinary Summit in the aftermath of the July events at which two armed forces clashed at the presidential palace in Juba.

The United Nations Security Council, he said, also agreed that the troops contributing countries and the leadership of the United Nations mission in the country and government of South Sudan will continue to work out modalities of the deployment, building upon the consultations of 25 August and 1 September, 2016, respectively, where further discussions were anticipated.

“That means nothing is fully concluded without such consultations in place,” Ateny warned.

Other government officials, including information minister explained that the "consent" which the government has given means that it has agreed in “principle” to the deployment of foreign troops but not necessarily “acceptance unconditionally.”

Minister Michael Makuei Lueth argued during a press conference on Monday that the consent was given by the government to enable discussions to take place between the United Nations mission in the country, the army, and other stakeholders in order to work out modalities.

On Monday, the Associated Press (AP) quoted minister Lueth as also announcing dramatic limits on a 4,000-strong new peacekeeping force, saying anyone who enters without consent is an "invader."

"4,000 is the ceiling, but we are not duty-bound. We can even agree on 10," Lueth said.

The statement challenges the agreement reached between the government and the visiting UN Security Council after meeting President Salva Kiir on Sunday and emerged with a joint statement accepting the new UN mandated regional protection force.

Cabinet affairs minister, Martin Elia Lomuro, told reporters the government must first agree on the number of troops, the countries they come from and the arms they will carry.

The regional force has a specific mandate to protect civilians, vital installations and safeguard humanitarian activities.

Both civilians and foreigners, including relief workers, were targeted in the chaos by South Sudanese soldiers who raped women and girls, conducted mock executions and forced people at one hotel compound to watch a local journalist be shot dead.

The visiting Security Council diplomats met with civilians who pleaded for the new protection force.

"I want this country to be peaceful so my children can go back to school," AP quoted Rebecca Julio, a mother of four.

The Security Council’s members visited the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in both Juba and Wau, where the IDPs told stories of horrors, accusing government’s forces of killing and torturing people and raping their women and girls.

The Council also met with the chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), Festus Mogae, who leads the body responsible for overseeing the implementation of the August 2015 peace agreement.

The UN Security Council members also met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the Ethiopian Premier, Hailemariam Desalegn, and discussed the deployment of the regional troops to Juba. Desalegn, who chairs IGAD assured the Council’s members that chiefs of staffs of respective armies in the region were making preparations to deploy the forces to Juba “soon.”

Analysts and observers are keen to say the shift from the language of the communiqué by the South Sudanese government officials is an attempt to allay fears from senior government officials who accuse president Kiir and some of his moderates of having allegedly betrayed them after sponsoring demonstrations to oppose the troops’ deployment.


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  • 7 September 04:32, by choldit

    What is the intention of the govt that opposites contributions in deployment of troops from its immediate neighbor countries? The current Afican contributing countries like Ethiopia, Rwanda, plus Kenya must be the ones to contribute all the troops. Let the two striated countries stand aside. If it is the case.

    repondre message

  • 7 September 05:37, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Wow, very terrible condition to UNSC and neighbors.

    repondre message

  • 7 September 06:05, by Force 1

    Yes the conditions have to be set for the protection forces to as they are told. South Sudan isn’t a zoo where they can just come roam aimlessly. The protection forces have to be told what and what not to do or else they are out of South Sudan.

    repondre message

    • 7 September 08:54, by Mr Point

      South Sudan is a warlord society where military power rules and might is right. The president does not follow the constitution. The army robs, rapes and murders. Civilians are only safe if they are protected by an independent armed force, which why UNSC has had to create it.

      repondre message

  • 7 September 08:05, by jubaone

    The Juba regime cannot only want to join the EAC, want IGAD mediation, want donor money and not hold to rules and behave in an uncivilized manner. The UN must just go for plan B.

    repondre message

  • 7 September 09:32, by Mr Point

    It is so clever of Kiir and his ministers to have completely fooled Ambassador Samantha Power into believing that South Sudan accepted an independent force, only to change the agreement the moment she left the country.

    The sovereign state is not bound to any other state.
    The sovereign state is not even bound to follow its own commitments

    repondre message

  • 7 September 11:57, by South South

    People who are blaming the Government of South Sudan for setting its conditions about the deployment of third party forces are pinheads who have very hidden agendas. Forces will come from the countries which have not shown any interest in South Sudan resources. What we need are forces to bring peace to our country, not Ethiopians or Kenyans to loot our resources. Get it right from now.

    repondre message

    • 7 September 12:05, by Mr Point

      200,000 IDPs in camps.
      One third of the population face food insecurity.
      The country has 20 years of debt to pay for Kiir’s War.
      Inflation is 600%

      Which resources, exactly, are valuable to other countries?.

      repondre message

      • 7 September 12:18, by South South

        People should stop running around and try to make things bigger then they suppose to be. No immediate neighboring country forces will be allowed to enter South Sudan, this is very clear and very straight, period. People can talk day and night, but what we want in our country is a peace. Forces from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda can keep peace in our country.

        repondre message

        • 7 September 17:00, by Eastern

          UPDF from Museveni’s Uganda propped you up in 2013/2014; cattle keeping doesn’t make one reason any better!

          repondre message

          • 7 September 18:35, by Force 1


            You have no idea; do you? Well cattle-keeping is good enough to makes one a president over a pinhead who assumed to have any civilization! Why would you be protesting that a cattle-keeper is more intelligent than you’re to be president? Shouldn’t you be the one who would be president if you were smarter than the cattle-keeper? Now who is an idiot?

            repondre message

          • 7 September 20:03, by South South


            Please try to understand the situation right now in South Sudan. Uganda entered South Sudan in 2013/2014 because government of South Sudan invited them, not UN imposed on them. Riek Machar is a cattle keeping by the way, can he thinks well? Third, cattle people communities are the most richest people on the face of Earth. Everyone in South Sudan is dying to eat cow meat, not monkeys meat

            repondre message

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