News / Africa

South Sudan Demands Apology Over Western Diplomats' Letter

A protester holds up an sign protesting against UNMISS head Hilde Johnson at a rally in Juba.A protester holds up an sign protesting against UNMISS head Hilde Johnson at a rally in Juba.
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A protester holds up an sign protesting against UNMISS head Hilde Johnson at a rally in Juba.
A protester holds up an sign protesting against UNMISS head Hilde Johnson at a rally in Juba.
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi
South Sudan demanded an apology from 10 western countries and the European Union after they released a statement last week condemning the government of South Sudan for interfering in United Nations' activities in the country.

Deputy Foreign Minister Peter Bashir Gbandi said the statement was not delivered to the South Sudanese authorities through the proper diplomatic channels. He also complained that the government learned of the allegations in the letter through local media reports.

“We consider this statement of condemnation to the government as a negative trend in our diplomatic relations and as a grave violation of diplomatic practice and rules, as well as a serious interference in the internal affairs of the Republic of South Sudan,” Gbandi said.

In the statement released last Friday, the ambassadors and chargés d'affaires of the United States, United Kingdom and Norway -- the so-called South Sudan troika -- and France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and the European Union, spoke out against "the continued obstruction of UNMISS operations by Government and opposition forces and any threats to UNMISS personnel."

The statement condemned both the government and opposition forces for human rights abuses and for "violations of international humanitarian law that have resulted in the loss of lives, and internal displacements as well as refugees along the borders in neighboring nations.' The letter warned that interference with UN work may be a violation of international law.
 
Gbandi denied that the government has been interfering with the U.N.’s work.
 
“We need some clarifications... and examples of where the government has been continually obstructing UNMISS operations," he said. "This is a very serious allegation..."
 
After a closed-door meeting with officials at the foreign ministry, Ambassador Sven Kuehn Von Burgsdorff, head of the E.U. delegation to Juba, said the western diplomats will not apologize.

“It remains the sovereign right of diplomatic missions to issue a press statement, as we have done in the past," he said.

During the meeting with the foreign ministry, Burgsdorff said the western diplomats told South Sudanese officials "that we can start to improve on ways of communicating with our friends in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We also reiterated that many of these points, if not all, have been mentioned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
 
Neither Gbandi nor Burgsdorff would say what the next step would be but the E.U. ambassador said he does not expect the incident to affect diplomatic relations with South Sudan.

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by: Anonymous
April 05, 2014 11:06 PM
The sad thing with s.Sudan situation,is that after all the sacrifices and suffering this is what it comes to as Christmas gift?

by: Lagu from: uk
April 05, 2014 8:58 AM
The South Sudanese government has failed on so many levels, the country has the potential to be a great nation but has uneducated leaders who can't read or write let alone run ministries. These so called leaders are highly tribalised, corrupt and when exposed like to shift the blame. Don't be naive people, the reality is the UN are protecting South Sudanese citizens from them and trying very hard to prevent a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. By condeming the UN, the government has shown the international community it has very little care for the wellbeing of its citizens. Ultimately, South Sudan will never move forward as long as it has unintelligent people in power.

by: Bol from: Kampala
April 04, 2014 10:25 AM
Help the Western countries with their traitors must understand that South Sudan is an independent nation governed by laws where international laws and treaties apply. The so called super powers must restrain from interfering in internal affairs of African nations.

by: David from: U.S.
April 04, 2014 2:47 AM
Gbandi or hell name you are common. Lets have a bit common sense. You need apology for doing wrong things to Organization who is really helping your people? What kind of apology do you really want? If I were you, I would apologize to United Nation. It is crucial that had depend on UN before if not youare not Southern Sudanese. You do not even reflect genuine S. Sudanese. What kind of uncalculated plan is this? You want Ugandan government in the country but not UN. Move out of way. There are people who need freedom and civilization in S.Sudan young, and woman. You cannot hide the corruption by blocking UN. Your technique is very ackward. I never thought we as a S. Sudanese should already forgot about the civil war that took million of life now you excusing UN for helping you supporting your people which you never done nothing for them. If need apology ask your self if you deserved to apologize to those whom your cruelty action cost their life. I am not going to put up with this ignorant excuse. This is outrageous. Who cannot know that United is an international organization whose job is to feed people in need of food. Not you oil drinking corruption, God knows where the truth is and for civilians killer you will be punish for your action. Even if some body UN or any one else in the world help this single tribe whom you are going against by calling and inviting all the dictators leaders of Africa to kill them, what would be big deal? You started to allowed others countries to fight your own brother in your land. Why would it be good for you to do it but not the other person. Little knowledge is a disease for real. Maybe my commons when to long but I just cannot believe that those who considering themselves as an official cannot act official. America and Europe need to get under this cruelty action whom corruptors called invading of their policy. Please let be intellect by words and also our actions. Carrying for does not hurt you but doing others wrong can really get at you. Gbandi and his administration need to clean their hands and correct their action. Lies does not built positive profession. The whole regime needs learn the different between truth and lie. Go ahead and beg for wrong apology if that would do you any better.
Thank you VOA.

by: Sam from: USA
April 04, 2014 2:04 AM
Yeah, that's right. Apology to the west countries! That's lie. West countries' apology is to stop war in your country and stop accused UN and west countries for your messed.

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