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UN chief wants decision on South Sudanese rebels in DR Congo

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October 31, 2016 (JUBA) – United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, has asked for intervention of the UN Security Council to decide what to do with the several hundreds of South Sudanese opposition fighters taking refuge in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and President Salva Kiir speak to the media in Juba (File/AFP)

There are over 750 soldiers of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA-IO) loyal to former First Vice President, Riek Machar, who accompanied their leader across into DRC and were left behind when their leader was further transported to Sudan for medical treatment.

The opposition forces were part of Machar’s forces who fled the South Sudanese capital, Juba, when violence erupted on 8 July with troops loyal to President Salva Kiir.

In a letter dated 27 October written to the 15-member council, Ki Moon said up to 755 South Sudanese rebels had crossed into Congo’s Garamba National Park and their status was not clear.

The Congolese government on 3 October told the UN peacekeeping mission in DR Congo, known as MONUSCO, that the fighters should leave within a week, but added that the mission did not have the legal authority to expel the troops from Congo.

Ki Moon pointed out that the fighters, who had medical issues, are now healthy and that the UN mission in the DR Congo should not continue to support them.

“At the same time, there is no basis for MONUSCO to continue providing humanitarian assistance to them, as they are no longer in a life-threatening situation," he said, adding that the mission had told the Congolese government it could no longer take care of the South Sudanese fighters.

“I am, accordingly, bringing the matter to the attention of the Security Council in order that it might take such decisions or provide such guidance as it may deem appropriate,” Ki Moon said in the letter.

United Nations, Sudan Tribune learnt, has been in contact with the African Union (AU), East African regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to resolve the issue.

The United Nations mission in Congo extracted Machar, his wife, son and 10 others of his aides from Garamba Park on the side of the DR Congo on 17 August at the request of the Congolese government.

The UN has been trying to broker an agreement between DR Congo and South Sudan on the repatriation of the fighters or their relocation to a third country until a political deal is in place.

Political differences between President Kiir, and his former deputy Machar, led to conflict in 2013 which reignited on 8 July in Juba. The two signed a peace deal last year, but fighting has escalated across the country.

(ST)

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  • 31 October 2016 23:31, by Wani khooto

    dear all,
    imagine how idiot machar is,he left every life of Nuer in any corners of Africa. how greedy is this man and yet he want to be a leader, Nuer have to learn a lesson from this greedy man, he is enjoying in nice hotel yet some Nuer are left in the bush suffering for his cost.can some one tell me if Nuer are not foolish people, what hell on earth can leader abandon his supporters and went

    repondre message

    • 1 November 2016 07:54, by Akuma

      Wani,

      Nuer militias are ISIL of South Sudan and they are deserve to be chase away in all territories near South Sudan. They are terrorists like Boko Haram of Nigeria, Al-Shabbaab of Somalia, ISIL/ISIS of Libya, Irag, Syria and other Araabs and LRA of Uganda. They need to be put under Criminal court of judges because they are committing crimes against humanity....

      repondre message

    • 1 November 2016 08:07, by Hardlinner

      that is the act of greedy leader to leave behind is supporters. Nuer should know learn a lesson under their revered leader Riek. question is what did he do with his 500,000,000 dollars he stole from the government. if he did care, he would have used portion of his money to help his comrades but he decided not to because he love his money more than his supporters.

      repondre message

  • 31 October 2016 23:38, by Wani khooto

    every man learned from his mistakes but to Nuer, the enjoy doing the same mistakes, why should someones follow a man who had no clear plan and vision of forming rebellious and he do not like to live in the bush with his supporters. Machar is the first man in the history of gorilla war, who want to be in a hotel while followers are fighting for him.Garang was good example for Nuer to compared

    repondre message

  • 31 October 2016 23:47, by Wani khooto

    can you imagine, i met with two Nuer guys last month and the told me that majority of their soldiers who join Peter Gatdet where given to Khartoum in exchange of guns to go and fight in Yemen and all of them were Nuer.i feel so sad and i need Nuer community and South Sudanese to wake up and see how they are being misused by war-mongers.to be sincere someone is getting advantage of our youths.

    repondre message

  • 1 November 2016 03:34, by NyanDengdit

    Chase un from South Sudan

    repondre message

    • 1 November 2016 05:01, by Eastern

      Acting emotionally, then South Sudan should be "chased" out of the UN.....Do you know what that will mean to the poor and innocent people in the country? Use your brain!

      repondre message

  • 1 November 2016 04:59, by Eastern

    These are highly trained soldiers which SPLA-IO cannot afford to lose just like that....

    repondre message

  • 1 November 2016 05:56, by Augustino

    They are not loss but kept there for Riek, UN and DRC are not honest however, they are totally traumatised soldiers, the way they loss their high ranking leaders as you know they are not under good command at the movement, they will be a problematic to UN and DRC inside Congo while we wait for them at the border for more chase again. only if they accept voluntary repatriation to Taban Deng in Juba

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    • 1 November 2016 06:27, by choldit

      There are lot of idiots on this forum who talk unthoughtful ideas. SPLA IO is in control of western, eastern and southern parts of equatoria. Their cdes shld come with musical match but to respect peace that brought them to Juba UN have to that work of taking them to where it brought them, pagak else UN is taking side of gov’t of SS by asking it. Gov’t of ss chased them out of ss and went to kill

      repondre message

      • 1 November 2016 08:12, by Hardlinner

        choldit perhaps you are one of them. if Riek was in controlled of west and eastern equatoria, how come his troops are Refugees in DR congo?. be reasonable please.

        repondre message

  • 1 November 2016 08:59, by Dengda

    755 soldiers are great number and they walk their way through South Sudan. The problem is that, they were disarmed before they entered DRC for medical check up. UN has no authority to rearmed them again according to International law. That’s why UN chief is in consulting UNSC.

    repondre message

  • 1 November 2016 15:19, by Peace and reconciliation

    If they would wish to join the TGONU regime, I then led them join the peace implementation. Coz it is the only future for our country. Peace!!! Peace to our country. Please fellow patriots, embrace peace.

    repondre message

    • 1 November 2016 16:16, by Dinka Aliap Chawul

      They’re brought here by UN with logistical supports(transport, medical,sleeping material clothing and utensils) from US,with an intention to touch the teeth of govt,what happened was them running to there godfather in DRC. Now takes them to your residency in New York.

      repondre message

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