News / Africa

South Sudan Intercepts UN Trucks Carrying Weapons

A South Sudanese soldier sits behind a South Sudan flag in Bentiu, Unity state, Jan. 12, 2014. South Sudan intercepted 11 U.N. trucks carrying weapons, headed to Bentiu.
A South Sudanese soldier sits behind a South Sudan flag in Bentiu, Unity state, Jan. 12, 2014. South Sudan intercepted 11 U.N. trucks carrying weapons, headed to Bentiu.
Philip Aleu
South Sudanese officials said Friday they have intercepted 11 United Nations trucks carrying weapons, in violation of a U.N. rule that arms should be transported by air only in the country for security reasons.

South Sudan army spokesman Brigadier General Malaak Ayuen Ajook said the trucks were intercepted in Rumbek, in Lakes state, and will be held there until the government and the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) complete an investigation into the incident.

UNMISS said in  a statement that "It is the policy of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) that during the crisis in South Sudan all arms and ammunition for peacekeeping contingents are flown into respective areas of deployment and not taken by road. This is an important security measure."

The weapons belong to a Ghanaian battalion of peacekeepers that was on its way to Bentiu, capital of Unity state, UNMISS spokeswoman Ariane Quentier said. The Ghanaian troops are part of a surge being sent to South Sudan "to assist" the country during the crisis, the U.N. said.

The arms were in a shipment of "general goods" in which "several containers were wrongly labeled and inadvertently contained weapons and ammunition. This is regrettable," the UNMISS statement said. 

"The U.N. headquarters intends to dispatch a high-level delegation or investigation team to look, with the government of South Sudan, into this matter," Quentier said, insisting that the incident would not affect the U.N.'s role in South Sudan.

"The UN is in South Sudan to support the government," she said, adding that the UNMISS would "remain impartial and... is not in South Sudan to take sides."

Relations between the U.N. and the government of South Sudan have been strained since violence erupted in Juba in mid-December and quickly spread around the country.

At the start of the conflict in December, the government accused UNMISS of sheltering rebels inside its bases. Tens of thousands of people have been given protection at U.N. compounds and bases since the fighting began.

In January, tensions rose when UNMISS barred access to its base in Bor to

Days later, President Salva Kiir accused the United Nations of seeking to take over the young country, speculating that UNMISS may have pushed his political rival, former vice president Riek Machar, to rise up against him. Kiir dialed back his accusations a few days later.

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by: JOHN BULL from: SOUTH SUDN
March 10, 2014 7:44 AM
Everything written UN will be checked thoroughly by security personels in any corner in our country. Thanks for the gov,nt

by: ojuko from: norway
March 10, 2014 4:08 AM
South Sudan Broadcasting Station TV have to do it the candidates were asked how they would address various issues of national concern if voted into power.

by: AYUEN kon from: juba
March 09, 2014 4:12 PM
UNMISS is now becoming an enemy of south Sudan government. By fuelling the rivals.

by: Anonymous
March 09, 2014 3:07 PM
That is not true statement to say it is wrongly loted no u make it intentionly because u will not do the mistake twics the first u have lot one box of amminution with goods to bantiu by plane and its arrest u say it is by mistake now also by mistake no no no this guns will be fasticated from u

by: Anonymous
March 09, 2014 12:35 PM
God is great. He has shown an evidence to the world that UNIMISS have been supporting rebels.
Now Hilde Johnson must go.we don,t want the head of UNIMISS but not UN.

by: Abraham from: Australia
March 09, 2014 10:45 AM
First of I give thanks to VOA for reporting on this. South Sudan is in crisis since December last year and this is regretable indeed. We, people of South Sudan would like to inform the World and particular wonderful people of USA who helped us to get separated from North Sudan, that we are capable of bringing peace to our two rivalling sides. What makes it hard for us to unite once again is the secret works of some foreign personels working with NGOs in our Country. UNMISS had a valid reasons then to help people of South Sudan but some unknown personels working with the UNMISS have hijacked the good intention and the result is unnecessary killings within our country. The UN work Congo, in my view, was hijacked and today Congo has no peace. Somalia is the same. So UN headquarter must wake up otherwise people will eventually perceive UN as agent of instability. UN tanks were used by the rebels in South Sudan (Bor) against government. When the rebels were defeated in Bor, some of the rebels stripped off their military uniform and dumped them on the gate of UNMISS. Minister of information was asking UNMISS soldiers about arms of those who ran to UNMISS compound dumping uniform by the gate. When the UNMISS soldiers said that they don't have knowledge about the arm; the minister then requested to be allowed inside compound with
journalists, UNMISS guards refused on ground that they don't allow journalists with cameras to their compound. UNMISS later reported New York that South Sudan army was to force itself to the UNMISS compound but this was false for there is a video clip which disprove UNMISS claims.

by: Galaxy from: Ethiopia
March 09, 2014 12:50 AM
Hilde is doing her job by protecting many civilians in ten States across the country therefore, you those who want UN to leave South Sudan you will never get this as it is an agreement signed by government of South Sudan and UN.
In Response

by: Anonymous
March 11, 2014 11:27 AM
Shame on u an Ethiopian of talking such kind of foolish word becouse ur origin is not an African u don't know de population of Ethiopian here in S.Sudan enjoying their busness. R u happy of Hilder Johnson of bringing de arms 2 kill our people while u r abroad? Let me tel u, De agreement sign by S.Sudanese & UN or UNMISS is not 2 bring weapon 2 kill our poor citizen. They forget their mandate as pecekeepers, since de war started with Sudan in Panthou (Higlig) & now in S.Sudan what's did UNMISS done? Instead of wandering on their useless uniform & tank around Juba as they are working. Let de UNMISS quit from S.Sudan if not 1 day they will see. we will rise against their new coloniazation against us.

by: yaya akech from: USA
March 08, 2014 11:19 PM
Hilde Johnson doesn't belongs to any tribe in S. Sudan n if she choose sides, then she needs to leave immediately. She failed cheaply in her duties as UNMISS's head

by: John from: Au
March 08, 2014 6:42 PM
God works for South Sudan not UNMISS, HIDE JOHNSON have to go we don't need her anymore as she has failed the whole mission to cute with rebels in destroying our new nation.
In Response

by: ojuko from: norway
March 10, 2014 3:48 AM
Why south Sudan can't holds first Debate for Presidential Running they all can be from one political party system and also another party just try as a first going forward for good of all southern Sudanese

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