South Sudan rejects more UN peacekeepers

South Sudan's Kiir. Photo: Reuters/Getty Images/File
South Sudan’s Kiir. Photo: Reuters/Getty Images/File

Juba, January 11, 2017 (SSNA) — The government of South Sudan has announced that Juba no longer accepts the deployment of additional United Nations peacekeepers, citing Juba readiness to protect itself, a statement obtained by the South Sudan News Agency has revealed.

Mawein Makol Ariik, the spokesman for South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, released the statement saying South Sudan would no longer accept 4,000 additional UN peacekeepers proposed last August. He claims the war-torn young nation is capable of providing security for its citizens.

“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,” Ariik said.

South Sudanese Defense Minister Kuol Manyang Juuk also said his government believes the country is peaceful, asserting only people who live outside the country “still believe that there is fighting in Juba and around the country.”

Juba accepted the deployment of more peacekeepers last November three months after the 15-member council authorized additional peacekeeping force. Minister of Cabinet Affairs Martin Lomuro said last year that South Sudan’s Cabinet unanimously agreed to the UN Security Council request “with no conditions.”

A government official with direct knowledge of the issue told the SSNA in Juba that South Sudan decision to reverse its previous agreement with the UN is motivated by its recent arms deal with a foreign government. The official refused to name the country providing weapons to juba, citing “grave danger.”

“I can’t tell you the name of the country doing military business with us. Anyway, no one is allowed to speak about it because exposing the name carries grave danger,” the source cautioned.

It is not clear if the claim is related to a recent alleged secret military pact between Juba and Cairo.

On Monday, a senior rebel official told the South Sudan News Agency in Addis Ababa that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has brokered a “dirty deal” between South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. The official added that the secret arms agreement would allow South Sudan to receive lethal weapons and ammunition from Egypt and that Juba would then use the new weapons to wage a full-scale war against South Sudanese rebels.

The rebel source, who described Kiir as “double agent,” claimed that SPLM/A-IO intelligence agents in Juba and Kampala confirmed that Egypt is closely working with Uganda and South Sudan to fulfill its sabotage campaign against the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

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