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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid