News / Africa

    South Sudan President: UN Seeking to Take Over

    • United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gestures during a press conference in the Philippines on Sunday Dec. 22, 2013, at which he expressed grave concern about the deteriorating security situation in South Sudan.
    • President Salva Kiir says UNMISS stopped short of appointing its chief, Hilde Johnson, shown here holding a video news conference from Juba, South Sudan on Dec. 26, 2013, 11 days after the violence in South Sudan began, as "co-president."
    • Civilians fleeing violence seek refuge at UN compound in Bor, Jonglei state, South Sudan, Dec. 18, 2013. The U.N. says 70,000 people have sought refuge at its bases.
    • A displaced woman stirs fortified cereal mix at the U.N. compound where she has sought shelter in Juba, Dec. 23, 2013.
    • The U.N.'s top humanitarian official in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, assesses the situation at the U.N. compound where many displaced have sought shelter in Bentiu, Unity state, South Sudan, Dec. 24, 2013. (UNMISS)
    • Handout photo taken Dec. 20, 2013 released by UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) shows the remains of two UN soldiers from the Indian Battalion who were killed in an attack on a U.N. base in Akobo, in Jonglei state. (AFP Photo /UNMISS/Rolla Hinedi)
    • South Sudan's President Salva Kiir gestures during a news conference in Juba, Dec. 18, 2013. Kiir says the U.N. Mission in South Sudan was set up as a parallel government to his.

    Kiir Says UN Seeks S. Sudan Takeover
    South Sudan President Salva Kiir has accused the United Nations of seeking to take over the young country and speculated that the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) may have pushed his political rival, former Vice President Riek Machar, to rise up against the government.

    "We did not know, when the UNMISS was brought to South Sudan, they were brought as a parallel government to the government of South Sudan," Kiir told reporters in Juba late Monday.

    We did not know, when the UNMISS was brought to South Sudan, they were brought as a parallel government to the government of South Sudan.
    "But they showed very clearly in this conflict that UNMISS was brought here to be the government of the south and they fell short of naming the chief of the UNMISS as co-president of South Sudan," he said, referring to UNMISS head, Hilde Johnson.

    Kiir was speaking a day after South Sudan Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth was barred access to the U.N. compound in Bor, where some 10,000 people have sought refuge, and hours after at least 32 civilians and two U.N. contractors were wounded by gunfire at the U.N. base in Malakal as fighting between government and opposition forces raged nearby.

    UNMISS officials said they refused access to Makuei because his bodyguards were armed, and the U.N. has a strict "no weapons" policy on its facilities. Makuei's bodyguards reportedly threatened U.N. staff before withdrawing.

    More than 70,000 civilians have sought shelter on eight U.N. bases in South Sudan since clashes erupted in mid-December between pro- and anti-government forces. Around 22,000 civilians are sheltering at the U.N. base in Malakal, the capital of oil-producing Upper Nile state.

    A young woman runs through the street as gunshots ring out a few streets over, in Malakal, Upper Nile State, in South Sudan.A young woman runs through the street as gunshots ring out a few streets over, in Malakal, Upper Nile State, in South Sudan.
    x
    A young woman runs through the street as gunshots ring out a few streets over, in Malakal, Upper Nile State, in South Sudan.
    A young woman runs through the street as gunshots ring out a few streets over, in Malakal, Upper Nile State, in South Sudan.
    In a statement released Monday, UNMISS condemned the "fighting taking place nearby its bases" and echoed a call made by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for all parties in the conflict "to respect the integrity of U.N. installations" and the security of civilians and U.N. personnel.

    But in his statement to reporters, Kiir accused Ban of wanting to take over South Sudan by installing UNMISS as a parallel government.

    "If that is the position of Ban Ki-moon, he should make it clear that he wants the U.N. to take over South Sudan so that nobody bothers around any other person," Kiir said.

    "And if they were the ones who were instigating Riek Machar to take this action, they really ill-advised him," Kiir said.

    The U.N. reacted to Kiir's statement with a call for leaders on both sides of the South Sudan conflict to not make statements that could exacerbate tensions in the country.

    Comments against the U.N. mission from senior government and anti-government figures "risk enflaming the situation and being taken by others as incitement to violence against civilians and U.N. personnel," U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said.

    "It's time for careful, measured public statements, aimed at calming, not enflaming the situation," he said.

    The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its most recent report that 494,000 people are internally displaced in South Sudan and 86,100 have fled to neighboring countries.

    UNMISS, which the Security Council has ordered reinforced by another 5,500 troops, bringing its total to nearly 14,000, said it has conducted more than 140 patrols in the past 24 hours, including in various locations in the capital, Juba, and in the three states most affected by the ongoing fighting -- Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile.

    No precise death toll has been established for the more than five weeks of fighting in South Sudan, but a top U.N. official said this week after a visit to the country that "many thousands" were likely to have been killed. Among the dead are two U.N. peacekeepers who were killed in an attack last month on a U.N. base in Akobo, Jonglei state.

    The same official, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic, on Monday said both sides in the conflict are suspected of involvement in human rights violations, some of which may be war crimes.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    January 22, 2014 7:43 PM
    UN is right, it would be extremely foolish to trust the Kiir -SPLM-faction in the regime to do protect or treat fairly any Nuer civilians or soldiers taking refuge in camps. Many Nuer were killed at at the start of the " Kiir concocted or so called coup", now the tribes have revenge and counter revenge. Kiir has failed to govern. Machar may have a tainted past, but that does not excuse crimes of Kiir & company or any other or Machar and followers.
    The reports of UN are more balanced I believe compared to what Kiir's junta says. The atrocities in war sometimes are committed by one group to use and blame their opponents. This method is used in Syria today, was used in Rwanda and was used in Luwero in Uganda by the now close advisers of Kiir , namley Museveni and Kagame. So the bottom line the Kiir regime can no longer be trusted at all, that is if it had any trust before. UN must stick to its principles or get a tougher mandate if needed like was done for DRC. Otherwise the chaos Kiir is exploiting with his buddies Museveni and Kagame will make S-Sudan turn out worse than DRC.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.