By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 20 January 2014 [Gurtong] - On Sunday, upon visiting Bor capital to acquaint himself with the situation there, Michael Makuei was denied access to the camp by the UNMISS Peacekeeper’s Commander at the camp.
Thousands of South Sudanese internally displaced persons (IDPs) are camped at the UNMISS compound in Bor.
“What we have seen in that compound [UNMISS compound in Bor] demonstrates the ill intentions of the UNMISS as a UN entity here in Bor town,” Makuei said.
“Well, this ultimately confirms [that UNMISS hides rebels in their camps]. We have seen lot of uniforms thrown outside, where are the riffles of those who were carrying these uniforms,” questioned the Minister.
UNMISS however, denied the accusations, saying it is against the UN principle of impartiality.
“UNMISS denies. UNMISS is impartial. It will go against the impartiality of the United Nations if we are not to be impartial,” Ariane Quentier the UNMISS Spokesperson responded.
Bor was recaptured on Saturday by the SPLA from rebel control close to three weeks.
Thousands of rebels loyal to ex Vice President Riek Machar had been battling around the town for close to three weeks.
Thousands of the civilians took refuge at the UNMISS compound as others crossed to Lakes States.
The UN Secretary-General in a statement today said he was alarmed on attempt by senior members of the Government of South Sudan and South Sudan army to force entry into the protection of civilians site at the compound of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Bor.
The statement said that the Secretary-General is particularly disturbed that United Nations staff were threatened by South Sudan military when they refused to allow armed soldiers to accompany civilians to visit the UNMISS protection site.
This incident is just one of a growing number of violations of the Status of Forces Agreement, making it increasingly difficult for UNMISS to implement its mandate and dangerous for United Nations staff working in South Sudan.
Thousands of civilians have been killed, brutally abused and left homeless in just over a month of conflict in South Sudan.
The Secretary-General calls on the parties and their respective leaders to do far more to ensure that fighters under their command protect civilians and respect International Humanitarian Law.
“They should also immediately cease hostilities, which have had such a devastating impact on their young country.”
The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says it faces growing threats from both sides as they shelter tens of thousands of civilians in compounds across the country.