AFRICANGLOBE – With a political solution to the South Sudan crisis still elusive, the government is growing increasingly suspicious of the United Nations and some Western countries over what Juba sees as undeclared sympathies for the rebel cause.
There have been a series of demonstrations by the youth across the country against the UN in general, and Hilde Johnson, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in South Sudan and head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), in particular, for allegedly meddling in the country’s internal affairs.
Things came to a head in mid-March when government forces intercepted a UN convoy carrying an assortment of arms that was destined for rebels fighting the government in Unity State but which had been labelled as food.
The Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Charles Manyang, told reporters that the UN violated an agreement with the government to transport weapons by air and not by road.
“We have no ill-feeling against the UN as an institution. But just like any organisation, there can be mistakes by individuals and our complaints against such should be seen as denoting relations between the government and the international body,” said Mr Manyang.
Juba had earlier crossed swords with the UN when government soldiers tried to force their way into a UN camp in Juba, claiming that they were hiding armed rebels who continued to fire at government troops.
Diplomats from Western nations responded by accusing Juba of “threatening” the UN personnel in the country and sustaining negative campaign against the UNMISS.
They comprised envoys from the US, UK, Norway, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada missions and the European Union delegation in the country.
By: Fred Oluoch