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South Sudan’s Kiir, UN envoy differ over regional forces


September 27, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudan President Salva Kiir and the head of the United Nations Mission in the country (UNMISS) have each differed over the deployment of regional protection forces.

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The head of the UN mission in South Sudan David Shearer addresses reporters on arrival of regional protection forces from Rwanda, August 8, 2017 (UN photo)

President Kiir on Wednesday directed all the country’s security organs to extend full cooperation to regional protection force, saying initial differences over the airport had finally been resolved.

“There is no dispute. What happened when they [regional force] came has resolved. They wanted to deploy at the airport, but we said that if they have gone to the airport, we will leave them to stay there but we stop cooperation with them. There will be no force coming in and we are not going to give any clearance,” said Kiir.

He added, “At the end, they had to withdraw from there [airport]”.

The South Sudanese leader made the remarks while speaking at an event of high-ranking integrated police officers in the capital, Juba.

According to Kiir, the disputes which the government had with the world body following the deployment of the regional protection forces have been resolved after the latter accepted to re-deploy.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) issued Resolution 2304 in August last year, allowing deployment of more than 4,000 troops to beef up the existing 13,000 UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) force.

South Sudan’s Transitional Government of National Unity [TGoNU] confirmed its unconditional consent to the deployment of the force in a communiqué to the UN Security Council on November 30, 2016.

Initially, it was agreed that once deployed, the regional protection forces, would to protect key installations like the airport, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance as well as protects the civilians.

The regional forces are also expected to further strengthen the security of UN protection of civilians’ sites and other UN premises.

President Kiir, however, told security forces that their role was now to treat the peacekeeping force in the country with respect and show the best of the country after the dispute was eventually resolved.

“Now, your role as a security force is not to fight these forces, you are not to fight the RPF or forces of the UNMISS. You work to cooperate with them. They are foreigners and you must show them the best part of this country,” he said.

But while President Kiir clearly stated that the issue with regional forces had been resolved, the head of the UN mission told its General Assembly that matters remain unresolved until now.

“I must address briefly the deployment of the regional protection force. While the government has officially repeated its acceptance of the RPF and UNMISS has closely adhered to the Government’s clearances and protocols, the positioning of the RPF in relation to the Juba airport – including at the adjacent mission’s Tomping base remains a vexed issue,” David Shearer told the world body’s General Assembly.

He added, “The RPF mandate is clearly and unambiguously set out in resolutions passed by this Council”, he added.

The top UN official said he and the force are still engaging the government in discussion over unresolved issues and would consider reaching out to the regional leaders and the African Union (AU).

“Together with my force commander, I am engaging the government in discussions over unresolved issues and will reach out to IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development] and the AU to have a meeting with the chiefs of defence staff from RPF troop contributors and the TGoNU in Juba as soon as possible”, said added.

South Sudan’s civil war broke out in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup.

A peace deal signed in August 2015 led to the formation of a coalition government but was again devastated by fresh violence that broke out in July last year.

Tens of thousands of South Sudanese have been killed, with millions of others displaced and over 4 million people left severely food insecure since December 2013.


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  • 28 September 2017 07:38, by Don-Don Malith Rual

    International Airport is where foreign degnatory arrived and leave and no any military personnel should be allowed within its proximity,but what had happen in South Sudan case was a total violation of human rights n was an indication of invention,was Airport the only free space that they could settle? Or was it in the agreement that they be deployed at the international Airport? We are so much wea

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    • 28 September 2017 07:42, by Don-Don Malith Rual

      Weaken by this so 📞 call protection forces.
      This must end we are the sovereign nation and if such a things happen to a young nation like us then there’s no reason that we fought for refrendom,

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  • 28 September 2017 09:58, by Landlord

    The content of the resolution document was discussed and agreed upon by the Government of s.sudan. airport was included before they signed, where is all these complain raising again from?

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  • 28 September 2017 14:16, by Eastern

    Kiir is no stranger to reneging on his word. He did it with Omar Bashir on the Security Protocol; he did it with Riek Machar on the ARCISS and now he’s doing it with the UN..! Do Kiir and his handlers read texts of these important documents before appending their obnoxious signatures..! KIIR IS CLEARLY THE OBSTACLE TO PEACE IN SOUTH SUDAN..!

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    • 28 September 2017 15:21, by Redeemer

      civilians are dying on roads and POC are every now and than being attacked, why was it not given the priority? I belief if UN was for the safety of civilians airport was going to be the last item to fight for

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      • 28 September 2017 16:54, by Eastern


        An agreement is an agreement..! Once you have signed an agreement that the new J1 has to be in Jebel Kujur why do you want to change when the contractor comes and wants to begin work on the agreed site. The attacks on the roads and the PoCs will be addressed as they emerge based on an agreed position. The RPF IS NOT A SPARE FORCE FOR KIIR TO DEPLOY AT HIS WHIM...!

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  • 28 September 2017 16:57, by Eastern

    When Riek Machar stood firm on the ARCISS demanding his partner in the agreement, Kiir, to work with him to implement the agreement, there was a stalemate and Kiir forced Machar out of Juba and replaced him with Taban who could be easily manipulated under the guise of "harmonious working relationship" to bend and cut corners in implementing the ARCISS. Let’s face the result of that machination...!

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  • 29 September 2017 20:35, by Nigany

    there is no sovereignty we can still talk of this time round after arrival of UN protection force. mr kiir is wasting his time giving empty argument at the aftermath of massacre of civil by his militia men(mathiang anyoor)

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