Home | News    Wednesday 5 February 2014

S. Sudan army denies looting UNICEF backpacks for school children


February 04, 2014 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese army (SPLA) has denied allegations it looted backpacks meant for school children, despite photographic evidence showing government troops in possession of blue bags bearing the UNICEF logo.

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UNICEF has previously accused government forces in South Sudan of looting backpacks intended for school children (Photo: Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

SPLA spokesperson Colonel Philip Aguer said claims army troops participated in the looting of supplies from relief organisations and business entities were incorrect, describing media reports as “wild circulations”.

“The general command of the SPLA, therefore, would like to clarify to the general public and the humanitarian relief organisations that our forces never looted any properties or supplies”, Aguer said in a statement on Tuesday.

However, in a separate interview with Sudan Tribune later the same day, Aguer said the army would conduct its own investigations into the allegations.

“Of course, the general command will investigate these allegations to establish the facts, Aguer said, although the officer did not elaborate on when the investigations would begin or whether the findings would be made public.

Army denials followed media reports on Monday quoting UNICEF spokeswoman Sarah Crowe as saying the agency was “extremely concerned” over the looting by the government troops of school supplies and backpacks that were due to be distributed to children.

The complaint came after large numbers of heavily-armed government soldiers, who are presently struggling to contain a seven-week-old rebellion in the country, were photographed in Jonglei state with bright-blue UNICEF ’back to school’ bags on their shoulders.

“We are of course extremely concerned to see this flagrant abuse of UNICEF education materials by combatants”, Crowe said in an interview with AFP on Monday.

“A large amount of UNICEF supplies - along with humanitarian supplies from other organisations, as well as stores from schools and hospitals - have been looted in many locations during the conflict in South Sudan”, she added.

Crowe said the alleged theft of humanitarian supplies demonstrated a “complete disregard for the principle of protection of civilians and respect for humanitarian work”, calling on warring factions to “take appropriate action against the theft and use of supplies that are intended for the welfare of civilians, especially children.”

Relief organisations have repeatedly expressed concerns about widespread looting of aid supplies by both government forces and the rebels, including vehicles, food stockpiles and medicines.


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  • 5 February 2014 05:11, by omoni jr.

    Why Dinka denied looting and pictures saying everything? UN need to print this photoes and take them to the head of Gangsters ,Salva kiir. How can you deny something everydody can see from very far.

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    • 5 February 2014 05:13, by omoni jr.

      It make me really laught when kiir militants deneied something clear like that.

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      • 5 February 2014 05:18, by Peter Marko

        @ The Traitor’s Supporters
        Those militants the in picture r not government troops. Instead, they r rebel forces, especially so-called "white army" dressed in the military uniforms. The western agents who r in charge of UNICEF r trying to falsely blame the looting that took place on Bor on the government troops in attempt to save the ass of their agent, Dr. Riak.........

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        • 5 February 2014 05:21, by Peter Marko

          Shame on Dr. Riak western in-laws for not telling the truth. There is no way SPLA could loot UNICEF as claimed in this article. Here is the link that tells it all, and I do hope u read some Arabic. If not, then find someone to translated it for u: http://www.alrakoba.net/news-action-show-id-135082.htm

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          • 5 February 2014 05:38, by Malakal county Simon

            Only a blind person can disputes this evident of pro-Kiir SPLA, looting UNICEF properties.... Shame-on dictatorial government South Sudan under poor leadership of alcoholic/illegal president.... You deserved death, for bringing shame to our country fool....

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          • 5 February 2014 06:04, by Observer

            Peter Marko
            There are none so blind as those who don’t want to see..

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          • 5 February 2014 11:20, by Bentiu son

            Peter Marko,you look like big liar- the spokesman of UPDF Philip Aguer who even denied photographed video seen by public when his Gelweng militias burned down States’ capital of Greater Upper Nile region plus the recent photo taken when UPDF,JEM,SRF N traitors Nuer sons burned down all government facilities,UN properties in Dr Machar’s hometown Leer County- Unity State

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        • 5 February 2014 07:06, by Letigolight


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      • 5 February 2014 09:39, by Awei-ngok

        The looters are all Peter Gatdet and so called White Army forces being commanded generally by Riek Machar.Riek’s rebels where asked to organise for a shameful photo in Leer County on the 1st of February 2014 just to tarnish the image of the government forces.Bashir expelled ICRC in Sudan...why not replicate same thing in South Sudan? I request the government to expell the UNMISS and the NGOs.

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    • 5 February 2014 05:32, by omoni jr.

      the blue bags are belong to the UN not salva kiir’s gangsters.

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    • 5 February 2014 05:37, by George Bol

      Check this video out. My friend, we are not playing. Stop internet war.

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      • 5 February 2014 05:42, by omoni jr.

        George Bol,
        your video was long outdated,dont crack-down your little brain for nothing.

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        • 5 February 2014 09:31, by Awei-ngok

          Omoni jr,You are an idiot who will never understand the suffering inflicted on the people of South Sudan by Dr.Gabriel Riek Machar since 1990’s to date.This claim by UNICEF is not true.They are rebels who looted those school items for their use.Those houses would have been burnt to ashes if it were in Bor but this is Lou Nuer homeland where they were taken. They are Gatdet’s soldiers who did that.

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          • 5 February 2014 14:34, by Gat-khir

            the claim by UNICEF is not true while you are seeing the backpacked blue bags on your gelweng militias. The rebels do not have that uniform and i was not aware when your illegal president has distributed those blue bags to his militias. ’TELL THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE’.

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    • 5 February 2014 09:25, by Mike Mike

      Philip u have no ground here to denial the looting carried out by govt troops in UNICEF stores with clear evidences.The only one thing u could say is to investigate out to know exactly those forces are under command of who & i think you have the list of officers on an assignment bases and when u have identified them then should face the law because they have violated the code of conduct of the arm

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  • 5 February 2014 05:26, by hellonearth

    Phillip Aguer is a patholgical lair. Dinka SPLA loots everywhere even, on the Government controlled areas. what a shame.

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    • 5 February 2014 05:31, by Peter Marko

      Shame on Dr. Riak western in-laws for not telling the truth. There is no way SPLA could loot UNICEF as claimed in this article. Here is the link that tells it all, and I do hope u read some Arabic. If not, then find someone to translated it for u:

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      • 5 February 2014 11:19, by Johndumo14

        Dr Riek Machar must see the video of how his tribemen the White army were killed in battle in bor and other places and left being eaten by Hynas and vultures,he will notdream about to be a prsident of South sudan.The vultures are feeding on the thousands of death Nuer in Bor and around villages in Jongeli.The vultures are tired of eating the human flesh(meat) they are only eating the EYES!

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        • 5 February 2014 14:27, by Gat-khir

          Those killed Nuer in Bor were killed by UPDF air force,not you cowards. You prove it to the world that you can not face us The Nuer warriors. Shame, you are now talking while we know who is fighting for you.

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  • 5 February 2014 11:04, by thomas

    Lies on top of lies. Those are the very same new uniforms that were given to SPLA specifically so that they can be distinguished from the rebels who have only the old uniforms. Juba is a small place, I live next to Geyaada and saw them distributed.
    Remember when they denied UPDF was even here? Then they were only at Juba airport, then only in Bor, then at Malakal, etc...

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    • 5 February 2014 14:00, by Konkooc

      unicef only cry for bags what about the life of those who got lost. what if goverment did not brought security to stable where will they get children for that bags. UN vehicles where taken by rebel in thier compound and they did not say any thing.
      unicef should leave South Sudan within 72 hours, these un agencies are not here for humanitarian work. how did they took this picture or some one among

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      • 5 February 2014 14:04, by Konkooc

        cont.. SPLA soldier might have taken that picture and sold it out to unicef. where is here the role of MI and National Security. watchout still the fifth column still in our Army.
        this photo is fabrication is not a real photo.

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        • 5 February 2014 15:58, by thomas

          You’re trying to change the subject. First of all, it doesn’t matter who took the picture. It appears that it’s yourself that you’re trying to convince that it’s a fabrication. I’ve mentioned some facts, where are yours?

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