SPLA Soldiers Surround United Nations Compound in Juba, Rebels Raise Concern

Juba, February 10, 2014 (SSNA) — South Sudan’s government troops surrounded the Unitted Nations (UN) compound in Juba and took cars parked outside the gates. All the behicles they took were owned by the United Nations.

The move surprise UN troops as they watched South Sudanese government soldiers taking cars and destroying bath rooms outside the UN gate.

"The thoudands of internally displaced peoples (IDPs) taking refuge in a United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) camps in Juba are under siege by the government forces”, rebels’s negotiating team chief Gen. Taban Deng Gai said.

”Reports indicate that the hostile government forces are demanding that the IDPs be handed over to them with the claim that the IDPs are rebels and must be taken to government custody to account for their ‘crimes’” Gai added.

Gai recalls past brutalities committed by the governemnt soldiers in Jonglei State.

"It has happened before in the UNMISS compound in Bor when the regime’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Michael Makwei Lueth, was denied access into the compound, to which he issued stern threats against the United Nations on radio, TV and in a letter to Ms Hilde Johnson, the UN Special Representative to South Sudan”, Gai recalls.

"We fear the regime’s forces might storm any time into the UN compound, take the IDPs into custody and extrajudicially deal harshly with them!”, Gen. Gai warrned.

The motive behind SPLA’s move is yet to be determined, but, sources inside UNMISS told the South Sudan News Agency that the SPLA soldiers loyal to president kiir came and surrounded the entire compound, took all cars in the UN parking lots outside the gate, and broke bath rooms built by the UN for IDPs.

The sources believe that the incident is not a surprise since Kiir’s government has in the past accused the United nations of helping or sheltering the rebels, a claim fiercely denied by the world body.

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