Tag Archives: Defence Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk

South Sudan – government rejects additional 4,000 UN troops

Al Jazeera

More than 12,000 UN peacekeeping mission troops have been in South Sudan since it gained independence in 2011 [File: EPA]

South Sudan has announced it will no longer accept the deployment of an additional 4,000 United Nations peacekeepers, saying the security situation in the county has improved.

The regional protection force, authorised by the UN Security Council in August after renewed fighting in the capital, Juba, is meant to strengthen the 13,500-strong UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan

UN dismisses South Sudan peacekeeping force chief

“The government of South Sudan has the ability to provide security and stability for the country and for its citizens without the deployment of a … protection force,” South Sudan’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Mawien Makol Ariik said on Wednesday.

The government’s move is a reversal of its earlier decision in November to accept the troops’ deployment.

Defence Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk also said there was no need for the regional protection forces to be deployed in South Sudan.

“Most of the people abroad still believe that there is fighting in Juba and around the country … but Juba is now secure,” Juuk told DPA news agency.


READ MORE: South Sudan accepts 4,000 more UN peacekeepers


Juuk’s remarks contradict reports of recent fighting in the north and south of the country.

The South Sudanese government had warned in August 2016 that the deployment of more UN forces would marginalise its sovereignty, but later gave its consent amid the threat of an arms embargo.

In December, a UN human rights commission urged a rapid deployment of the additional peacekeepers amid reports of ethnic killings.

A political split between President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and his former deputy Riek Machar escalated into a military conflict in December 2013. Tens of thousands have been killed and more than two million displaced.

A unity government was formed in April, but fighting broke out again in July, sending Machar into exile.

The UN’s top human rights official has previously blamed South Sudanese government troops and rebels loyal to the president of ethnically targeted violations, including extrajudicial executions and sexual violence incidences in August 2015.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has previously faced criticism for failing to fully protect civilians facing violence.

In early November, Ban Ki-moon, the former UN secretary-general, dismissedthe commander of the UNMISS force following a damning report that accused the peacekeepers of failing to protect civilians during the outbreak of violence in July.

The report from a UN special investigation found that a lack of leadership in the UNMISS ended in a “chaotic and ineffective response” during the heavy fighting in the capital, Juba, from July 8 to 11 that killed dozens of people.

South Sudan rejects proposal for separate armies in interim peace period

Sudan Tribune

November 25, 2014 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese government has rejected a proposal by the armed opposition allied to the former vice-president Riek Machar which sought to allow the existence of two armed forces during the pre-interim period should there be a consensus for the proposed government of national unity.

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Soldiers from the South Sudanese army (SPLA) at Jonglei’s Bor airport in January 2014 (AFP)

The opposition group says allowing two armies would enable them assemble and organise their forces in designated areas ahead of the reintegration process.

However, government officials have interpreted the demand as an attempt by the opposition to prepare for a referendum in the event the agreement is not fully implemented.

Defence minister Kuol Manyang Juuk told reporters on Tuesday that the leadership meeting had agreed for one national army, saying it rejected the proposal to allow another group to operate under a different command.

“The leadership has agreed that there will be one army under one command. It was also resolved that those who defected will be reintegrated at the same rank [held] when they left,” he said following the meeting on security arrangements.

“The other issue which was also discussed and agreed was that the integration process should only be limited to those who defected. Those who joined the rebels and were not in the SPLA (South Sudanese army) [previously] shall not be accepted,” he added.

Cabinet affairs minister Martin Elia Lomuro also confirmed to reporters on Monday that the consultative meeting, which brought together senior government and party members from across the country’s 10 states, had unanimously agreed to reject the existence of two armies.

“The unanimous decision of the conference is that we are one country and we have 64 communities or tribes. Therefore there is no way one community can demand to have 50 per cent or 70 per cent of the army,” said Lomuro.

Government and rebel forces have been locked in an armed struggle since mid-December last year after a political split in the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) turned violent.

Peace talks in Ethiopia between the rival parties, which are being mediated by the Intergovernmental Violence Authority on Development (IGAD) have been marred by ongoing delays and political differences.

Previous ceasefire deals agreed by both sides have failed to hold amid fresh outbreaks of violence between the warring factions on the ground.

(ST)

South Sudan minister says Machar wouldn’t be able to ensure ceasefire

Reuters South Sudan minister says rebel leader can’t make ceasefire hold

JUBA          Fri Jan 17, 2014

An SPLA soldier is pictured behind a South Sudan flag as he sits on the back of a pick-up truck in Bentiu, Unity state January 12, 2014. REUTERS/Andreea Campeanu

An SPLA soldier is pictured behind a South Sudan flag as he sits on the back of a pick-up truck in Bentiu, Unity state January 12, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Andreea Campeanu

JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudan’s defence minister said on Friday the leader of rebels battling government forces did not have enough control over his fighters to make any ceasefire hold, as peace talks dragged on with no sign of a deal.

Defence Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk also told Reuters the two sides were still fighting over two strategic towns and said his government could ask Sudan for military help if the conflict in the world’s newest nation threatened South Sudan’s oilfields.

Sudan, from which the south split in 2011, relies on revenues from fees charged for use of its pipeline that carries South Sudan’s oil exports to international markets.

Troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels backing the deputy he sacked in July, Riek Machar, have been fighting since mid-December. The conflict has increasingly followed ethnic lines, pitting Kiir’s Dinka group against the Nuer of Machar.

Juuk said Machar had used a spiritual leader, who he named as Dak Kueth, to stir up people to fight.

“(Machar) is not in control of these people. So even if a peace agreement is signed, or cessation of hostilities, these people who are not under the control of Machar will continue creating insecurity for the people and government,” he said.

“We cannot make a unilateral ceasefire because it is they (the rebels) who are attacking the civil population and government positions,” Juuk added.

The two sides are negotiating a ceasefire deal in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, but there has been no clear progress. Rebel demands include that Ugandan troops deployed in South Sudan stop supporting government forces in combat.

SUDAN ROLE

Uganda’s military support of Kiir has raised worries that other regional players could be drawn into the conflict, in which a U.N. envoy said on Friday thousands had been killed and “mass atrocities” had been committed by both sides.

South Sudan has also asked Sudan for engineers to help maintain oil output which has slipped to about 200,000 barrels per day, from about 245,000 bpd before the fighting.

Asked if South Sudan would seek a joint security force with Sudan to protect fields, Juuk said: “Until now we have not asked the Sudan government to send in their forces.”

“Should there be a threat, anything threatening the oil field, definitely the government of South Sudan may ask the Sudan government to come in and support,” the minister said.

Juuk said the government was in control of Bentiu, the capital of oil producing Unity state, and that the two sides were still fighting over Malakal in another oil area and the flashpoint town of Bor.

All three places are north of South Sudan’s capital Juba.

The rebels have acknowledged the loss of Bentiu but the fate of the other two towns has been unclear as fighting has raged.

International medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it was forced to suspend activities in Malakal following the looting of its compounds. It said fierce fighting had broken out in Malakal on January 13.

Juuk shrugged off the rebels’ criticism of the role of Ugandan troops in South Sudan.

“We have requested support from Uganda. It is not a new situation, countries seek support from other countries whenever they are in trouble,” he said.

U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic called on Friday for the speedy establishment of an independent, impartial fact-finding commission on the conflict.

“Clearly the crisis, which started as a political one, has now taken on an inter-ethnic dimension that urgently needs to be addressed,” he said after a four-day visit to the country.

“People on both sides are absolutely convinced that the other side is to blame, which makes the situation even more dangerous,” he said.

Simonovic said the United Nations would issue a report on human rights violations since fighting began on December 15 and said the crimes included mass killings, extrajudicial killings, sexual violence and arbitrary detentions. Reuters